GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. (AP) - Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner touted efforts to build an energy-efficient economy while he visited Minnesota businesses Thursday, and announced an additional $5 billion in tax credits for "green" manufacturers.
The tax credits will go to manufacturers that produce energy-efficient products. That's on top of about $100 billion set aside for clean energy as part of the federal stimulus package.
Geithner toured Honeywell International Inc.'s plant and took part in a discussion with local politicians. He also visited Standard Heating and Air Conditioning in Plymouth, Minn., which installs energy efficient temperature control systems.
He emphasized the need for the federal government to work closely with states and companies to spark job growth.
"I've been spending a lot of time with financial engineers," Geithner said. "Today I got to spend time with real engineers."
Geithner's visit came only hours after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, part of a broader White House push to take the administration's agenda on tour. Obama and Vice President Joe Biden stopped in Florida on Thursday to announce plans to spend $8 billion on high-speed rail across the nation.
The Treasury secretary cited Honeywell as a company that is pushing innovative, energy-efficient technologies despite the nation being in the midst of a recession. This includes the company's thermostat systems, which optimize energy use so less is wasted, said Honeywell spokesman Mark Hamel. He said half of the company's products are considered energy efficient.
Geithner stressed a need for the government to reach out and support businesses, cities, banks and education programs to get employment numbers up. The administration also needs to gain back the confidence of the American people, he said.
"We can't do this alone. Ultimately our success will depend on you," he said.
Geithner's stop in Minnesota came just one day after he was questioned by lawmakers on his involvement in the AIG bailout.
"Yesterday is part of the privilege of office: You do hard, necessary things that are unpopular," he said Thursday.