Environmental Groups, Trade and Industry Associations, Utility Companies, Financial Institutions, and State and Local Governments Call On Biden To Jumpstart a $600B Clean Energy Market by Supporting the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
WASHINGTON, DC— In a new letter to President Joe Biden, 210 organizations and companies requested the President’s support in passing legislation to fund a national green bank in the form of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, formally known as the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator. Signers of the letter included national environmental advocates, trade and industry associations, financial institutions, utility companies, and state and local governments.
Appealing to President Biden’s efforts to increase American energy independence, lower energy costs, and fight climate change, the letter outlined the immediate and direct impact that legislation could have on local communities.
“Given the dual crises we are now facing—from the stark reminder in Ukraine of our reliance on fuels with volatile prices, to climate change increasingly outpacing our ability to adapt—we write now to urge your support for final passage of climate investment in the House-passed Build Back Better Act, specifically the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (previously, the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator). This Fund, as proposed, will drive financing products into the market that save households hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year while accelerating the transition to clean energy and mitigating the impacts of climate change.
The letter also detailed how the Fund would work with local lenders and financial institutions to direct resources to frontline and low-income communities and catalyze public-private investments for clean energy projects.
“Hundreds of local community lenders like CDFIs and credit unions want to increase local investment in clean energy solutions and would seek that capital and coordination from a national green bank. Together, this Fund, state and local green banks, and community lenders will work collectively to lower energy costs and deliver energy independence for all consumers in the U.S., with 40% set aside for low-to-moderate income households. Existing green banks have already built a track record of delivering clean energy and health benefits to communities that have historically been forgotten.
“This Fund will pair each public dollar with multiple private ones to build a range of clean energy projects, including renewable power, building efficiency, distributed energy resources, grid infrastructure, energy storage, industrial decarbonization, clean transportation, reforestation and sustainable agriculture and climate-resilient infrastructure. Public dollars invested will be repaid and preserved by the Fund, meaning that those dollars can be recycled to create even more private investment in the future. This Fund would be a smart investment to jumpstart a national $600B market.”
The national green bank was passed by the House of Representatives as part of the Build Back Better Act approved last fall. President Biden included the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator, a national green bank that would inject funding into state green banks, as a key climate provision in the American Jobs Plan. The House also passed the Accelerator as part of the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684), marking the third time it passed with bipartisan support. Republicans voting in favor of the Accelerator include Congressmembers Don Bacon (NE-2), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1), John Katko (NY-24), Christopher Smith (NJ-4), Jefferson Van Drew (NJ-2), and Don Young (AK).
In a letter to congressional leaders urging action on climate infrastructure, over 140 mayors called for the creation of a national green bank. Earlier this month, 10 governors on the front lines of the climate crisis called on Congress to pass the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator, because doing so would be one of “the most impactful actions to protect our climate” and environmental groups echoed that message.