Yesterday, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) led a roundtable discussion of the National Green Bank Act of 2016. The senators are two of the co-sponsors of the legislation, alongside Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) has been the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives.
The session was hosted by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, and included Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank and Jeffrey Schub, Executive Director of the Coalition for Green Capital.
With Election Day just a few weeks away, the discussion focused on the bill’s prospects in a divided Congress. The senators cited the rapid growth of clean energy investment, the Paris climate agreement, and the national focus on infrastructure as reasons why this is a ripe moment for national Green Bank creation.
Hillary Clinton has outlined a plan to put about $250 billion into infrastructure….if you’re talking about a major play on infrastructure, [the National Green Bank] would be part of that conversation. – Senator Chris Murphy
As we’ve written about previously, the discussion of a national infrastructure bank makes this legislation particularly timely. For all of these reasons, the senators said they expected the idea of a National Green Bank to ultimately receive bipartisan support. Senator Blumenthal called the National Green Bank a “winner that crosses the aisle, that crosses disciplines, that crosses geographies.”