FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2020
After House Passage, Nearly 100 Groups Urge Senate to Add Clean Energy Jobs Accelerator in Recovery Package
House provided $20B for nonprofit accelerator based on National Climate Bank concept
Clean energy industry has lost at least 600,000 jobs due to COVID19
WASHINGTON—Nearly 100 organizations today sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders requesting they include $20 billion to start a clean energy jobs nonprofit accelerator in the economic relief package being crafted. With that funding and the nonprofit’s creation, 3 million jobs would be created. Last month, the U.S. House passed the accelerator and funding (based on the National Climate Bank Act) by a vote of 243-178.
With tens of millions of American jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic so far—600,000 in the clean energy industry alone—and studies showing that up to 42 percent of those jobs will not return, the groups argue that Congress must urgently make long term investments that create jobs and build a cleaner future.
“Throughout our nation’s history during times of immense challenge, we have taken bold action to build a better future for our country. Voters expect Congress to continue this tradition,” the groups wrote.
The letter, spearheaded by the Coalition for Green Capital, was signed by a diverse group of industry, trade and environmental advocacy groups, along with state and local officials. Large environmental organizations include the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, National Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Climate Reality Project, and Appalachian Voices.
Other key clean energy industry groups— Solar Energy Industries Association, Energy Storage Association, Vote Solar, and Advanced Energy Management Alliance—added their voices.
State green banks and funding agencies, innovative start-ups and larger corporations, clean tech investors, utilities and regional advocacy groups—from Alaska to Hawaii, Florida to Michigan, Colorado to Pennsylvania and dozens more states—all signed on to support. Their support signals that this proposal is an effective way to put people to work and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The accelerator, as envisioned in S. 2057 Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ed Markey, would use the green bank model to pair each public dollar with multiple private ones to build a range of clean energy projects throughout the U.S. This includes renewable power, building efficiency, grid infrastructure like transmission, industrial decarbonization, clean transportation, reforestation and climate-resilient infrastructure. Because the dollars are repaid over time, they can be recycled to make additional investments in the future.
Twenty percent of the funds must go to low-income and climate-impacted communities, many of which have also been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The groups added: “Immediate economic relief is essential in this crisis, but so too is providing a livelihood for the millions of American families and households out of work. Voters across parties want Congress to invest in clean energy job creation to put Americans back to work.”
Recent national polling shows eight out of 10 Americans want Congress to create clean energy jobs and seven out of 10 support depositing $35 billion into a fund to achieve this. The groups concluded: “Voters across parties want Congress to invest in clean energy job creation to put Americans back to work.”
Read the letter and full listing of groups that signed it below.
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader of the Senate
The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Minority Leader of the Senate
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:
Last week, U.S. Treasury Sec. Steve Mnuchin asked Congress to pass additional economic relief, especially for industries that have seen significant job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those is the clean power and transportation sector, which has already lost 600,000 good-paying jobs that support middle class families.
To get these workers and their families across the country back on their feet, and create millions more new clean energy jobs, we urge you to provide $20 billion for a nonprofit Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator. In June, the House included the nonprofit accelerator and funding when it passed the Moving Forward Act.
Throughout our nation’s history during times of immense challenge, we have taken bold action to build a better future for our country. Voters expect Congress to continue this tradition. In national polls, 4 out of 5 voters want Congress to invest in new jobs to build clean energy infrastructure, like wind turbines, solar panels, power lines, and electric vehicle charging. And 69 percent say the U.S. government should deposit as much as $35B into a nonprofit accelerator to achieve that goal.
The opportunity to build the infrastructure to generate, move, store and use clean and efficient energy is nearly boundless. Trillions of dollars of investment is needed to build clean energy infrastructure that will put millions back to work, strengthen communities, reduce pollution, improve public health, lower energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator—as envisioned by Sens. Markey and Van Hollen (S.2057) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (H.R.5416) in the National Climate Bank Act of 2019—is a common sense vehicle for this investment because it will pair each public dollar with multiple private ones to build a range of clean energy projects. These projects could include renewable power, building efficiency, grid infrastructure, industrial decarbonization, clean transportation, reforestation, and climate-resilient infrastructure. Every public dollar invested will be repaid by the Accelerator, which means dollars can be recycled to drive even more private investment in the future.
The nonprofit accelerator will use the green bank model that has been proven at the state and local level in the U.S. There are already successful green banks in states like Michigan, Florida, Connecticut and Hawaii, and new ones in place in Colorado, Ohio, and Nevada. These green banks have driven over $5 billion of investment into clean energy; for each public dollar invested, $2.60 of private investment has followed.
To strengthen communities in every corner of America, the nonprofit accelerator will fund the expansion of the existing green banks and help form new regional, state or local green banks across the U.S. This will build a network of local institutions designed expressly to meet the employment, energy, development and environmental needs of that community.
No community will be overlooked: At least 20 percent of the nonprofit accelerator’s investment must go to frontline, low-income and climate-impacted communities. Existing green banks have already proven the possible, delivering clean energy and health benefits to communities that have historically been left behind. This ensures good clean energy jobs are formed throughout the U.S., especially in areas that need them the most.
Immediate economic relief is essential in this crisis, but so too is providing a livelihood for the millions of American families and households out of work. Voters across parties want Congress to invest in clean energy job creation to put Americans back to work. Including and funding Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator will achieve this.
Environmental Non-Profit Organizations
Chesapeake Climate Action Network
The Climate Reality Project
Environmental Defense Fund
League of Conservation Voters
Maryland League of Conservation Voters
Natural Resources Defense Council
New Jersey League of Conservation Voters
Union of Concerned Scientists
Trade and Industry Associations
Advanced Energy Management Alliance
American Green Bank Consortium
Americans for a Clean Energy Grid
Coalition for Community Solar Access
Coalition for Green Capital
Energy Efficiency Alliance of New Jersey
Energy Storage Association
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association
Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance
Maryland Building Performance Association
Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association
North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
Northeast Clean Energy Council
Renewable Energy Alaska
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Solar Energy Industries Association
Southern Renewable Energy Association
Funds and Community Development Financial Institutions
Climate Access Fund
Colorado Clean Energy Fund
Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE)
Connecticut Green Bank
DC Green Bank
Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility
Energy Resource Center, Colorado
Energy Outreach Colorado
Florida Solar Energy Loan Fund
Hawai’i Green Infrastructure Authority
Inclusive Property Capital
Maryland Clean Energy Center
Montgomery County Green Bank
Neighborhood Sun Benefit Corporation
New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation
Park City Community Foundation
Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank
Clean Energy Companies and Utilities
Aris Energy Solutions, LLC
Atlas Home Energy Solutions
Bicky Corman Law PLLC
Build Efficiently, LLC
Elevation Lighting Services Company
Energy Efficiency Experts LLC
First Cast Communications
Ground Loop Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.
Main Street Launch
Mountain View Solar and Wind
Recurrent Innovative Solutions, LLC
RER Energy Group
Solar United Neighbors
Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, Inc.
Zinc8 Energy Solutions
State and Local Governments
Hawai’I State Energy Office
The Honorable John Barrasso
The Honorable Tom Carper
The Honorable Chris Van Hollen
The Honorable Ed Markey