By Nick Sobczyk
Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell and a group of other Democrats are looking to reintroduce legislation today to create a national climate bank, which could leverage billions of dollars in clean energy funding and become a key piece of the party’s infrastructure plan.
The “Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator Act” would authorize $100 billion for a green bank to fund clean energy, zero-emissions transportation and other projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Expected to be introduced in the Senate by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), it’s an idea that advocates have long pushed for, drawing on successful examples at the state level.
“By building on the proven success of state-level green banks, the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator will transform our fight against climate change and intentionally incentivize investments in environmental justice communities,” Dingell said in a statement.
“This accelerator can bridge partisan divides and unite the public and private sector around our shared goal of decarbonizing our country, creating jobs, and leaving this world better than we found it,” she said.
Dingell spokesman Dan Black said the Michigan Democrat plans to introduce the legislation today after some final changes.
Democrats passed a version of the bill through the House last year as part of H.R. 2, their massive infrastructure package.
Backers have for months pushed for it to be part of larger talks on infrastructure and recovery from COVID-19 (E&E Daily, Dec. 9, 2020).
“During the last decade, the green bank model has proven to have an outsized impact in states, creating good-paying jobs and decarbonizing the economy,” Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition For Green Capital, said in a statement.
“Now we need to replicate this model at the federal level to meet the urgent economic and climate challenges before our country.”