The Coalition for Green Capital signed on to a letter from environmental organizations urging Democratic lawmakers to reject HR 1, The Lower Energy Costs Act. If passed, the legislation would repeal the historic $27B Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
Read the letter here and below.
March 28, 2023
Re: Oppose H.R. 1 and the Repeal of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund
We, the undersigned, write in strong opposition to H.R. 1, The Lower Energy Costs Act, which would gut key environmental protections and delay the transition to a clean energy future by locking in decades of dependence on fossil fuels. Among the many disastrous provisions in H.R. 1 that would undermine climate action and put communities at risk, the legislation seeks to repeal Section 134 of the Clean Air Act, otherwise known as the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF). We urge Members of Congress to join us in supporting this landmark program and opposing reckless legislation to repeal it.
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 amended the Clean Air Act to establish the GGRF, a $27 billion first-of-its-kind program to support the rapid deployment of low- and zero-emission technologies. The GGRF is split between a $20 billion green finance program, through which nonprofit entities will leverage public and private capital to fill gaps in access to green finance that have long persisted, and a $7 billion program to assist states, local governments, and Tribes in deploying zero-emission technologies in low-income and disadvantaged communities. Together, these two funding streams will ensure that all communities – particularly the most underserved and marginalized communities – can benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The GGRF is a critical tool for combatting the climate crisis, lowering energy costs, and advancing environmental justice. This program has unprecedented potential to improve lives by investing in high-impact, community-based projects that reduce climate pollution and improve public health. Importantly, at least $15 billion of GGRF investments – more than 55 percent of overall program funding – will be dedicated to projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities that have long been overlooked by financial markets.
These communities contribute the least to climate change, yet they are hit hardest by the economic and public health impacts of a warming world. The GGRF will not only help these communities deploy clean energy technologies and enhance their resilience to climate change, but it will also spur local and regional job creation, as well as enable wealth-building and community ownership of clean energy projects.
The GGRF promises to play a unique and vital role filling gaps in access to green capital. By statute, the GGRF’s $20 billion green finance program is required to support projects that otherwise lack access to capital. In other words, it will not duplicate investments currently being made elsewhere – by the public or private sector – but will instead be complementary and spur investment where it is needed most.
Moreover, the GGRF does not seek to reinvent the wheel. Rather, its green finance program builds on the successful model and track record of green banks and community-based lenders like community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and credit unions that have expanded access to green capital in states, cities, and regions – and, in particular, in environmental justice communities. Similarly, the GGRF’s $7 billion program to deploy zero emission technologies through states, local governments, and Tribes will ensure that clean energy solutions are tailored to a given jurisdiction’s geographic, market, and regulatory needs.
With a one-time infusion of public dollars, the GGRF will supercharge the deployment of green capital and accelerate the transition to an equitable clean energy future. All told, the GGRF is expected to catalyze far more than $27 billion in pollution-reducing investments, making it a key part of our efforts to build a more inclusive and more affordable low-carbon economy.
We urge Members of Congress to recognize the GGRF’s vast potential to deliver benefits for everyone and to reject H.R. 1, which would undermine this program before it even has the chance to yield results. Thank you for your consideration.
1000 Friends of Wisconsin
A Just Harvest
African American Alliance of CDFI CEOs Alaska Wilderness League
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
Americans for Financial Reform Azul
Building Electrification Institute
Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Chesapeake Climate Action Network City of Richmond, VA
Clean Energy Business Network
Clean Up the River Environment (CURE)
Climate + Energy Project
Climate Reality Chicago Metro
Coalition for Green Capital
Colorado Clean Energy Fund
Columbus Region Green Fund
Community Preservation Corporation Dream.org
e^2=equitable energy ventures
E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) Earthjustice
Endangered Species Coalition
Enterprise Community Partners
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)
Environmental Law & Policy Center
Go Green Illinois
Hip Hop Caucus
Illinois Environmental Council
Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Inc.
Indiana Environmental Clean Energy J40 Corporation
Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)
Kinetic Communities Consulting
League of Conservation Voters (LCV)
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Main Street America
Metro East Green Alliance
Metropolitan Energy Center
Metropolitan Planning Council
Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition
Missouri Green Banc
National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders
National Housing Trust
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Nevada Clean Energy Fund
North American Insulation Manufacturers Association
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Ocean Defense Initiative
Organized Uplifting Resources and Strategies
Philadelphia Energy Authority
Philadelphia Green Capital Corp.
Pilgrim Progress Community Development Corporation
Regional Plan Association
Save Our Illinois Land
Smart Growth America
Solar United Neighbors
Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance
Southern Environmental Law Center
The Capital Good Fund
Tucson Industrial Development Authority
Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois
Unitarian Universalist Association United Congregations of Metro East
WE ACT for Environmental Justice Wisconsin EcoLatinos