Washington, D.C.– In a new letter to Congress, a coalition of 20 organizations called on Congress to pass the Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator and “make transformational investments in our nation’s infrastructure with the Build Back Better Act.” The Accelerator was included in the budget resolution passed by both the House and Senate last month.
“We’re pleased to see this coalition of leading environmental and public health groups recognize the importance of the Accelerator, which will generate jobs and bring critical investment to disadvantaged communities across the country,” said Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital.
In their letter, the coalition said, “The climate investments included in the Build Back Better Act put us on a clear path to cut climate pollution in half by 2030 by creating new clean energy tax incentives, transforming our power sector to achieve 100% clean electricity and investing in communities too often left behind. Anything less fails the Climate Test that science and this moment demand. If we don’t act now, communities will face even more devastating and extreme droughts, fires, hurricanes, flooding and storms.”
The groups called for Congress to fund $27 billion for the Federal Green Bank, naming the Accelerator as a key component to directing clean energy investments to communities that have long borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution.
The letter was signed by Black Millennials for Flint, the Center for American Progress, the CLEO Institute, the Climate Action Campaign, Climate Power, the Climate Reality Project, Earthjustice, the Environmental Defense Fund, Evergreen Action, Generation Progress, Interfaith Power & Light, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Audubon Society, the National Hispanic Medical Association, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, NextGen America, Poder Latinx, the Sierra Club, and the Wilderness Society.
President Biden included the Clean Energy Accelerator, a national green bank that would inject funding into state green banks, as a key climate provision in the American Jobs Plan. The U.S. House passed the bipartisan Accelerator as part of the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684), marking the third time the Accelerator has been passed by the chamber. In a July letter to congressional leaders urging action on climate infrastructure, more than 140 mayors — a group known as “Climate Mayors” — called for the creation of a national green bank. Last week, 10 governors on the front lines of the climate crisis called on Congress to pass the Clean Energy & Sustainability Accelerator, because doing so would be one of “the most impactful actions to protect our climate.”
The Coalition for Green Capital has been the advocate of green bank creation since its founding in 2010. Currently there are 22 green banks in 16 states and the District and 21 more green banks in the pipeline. Most recently green banks were created in Maine and Colorado. Legislation to fund them at necessary scale is pending in the House (H.R. 806, a bipartisan Clean Energy & Sustainability Accelerator introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and (S. 283, creating a National Climate Bank, introduced by Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey and Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen).