Consolidating Grant Money in a Single, National Green Bank Expands the Number of Entities That Would Benefit from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF)
Key Members of Congress Have Provided EPA With a Roadmap for How to Implement GGRF By the Congressionally-Mandated Deadline
Washington, DC — The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) has sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board (EFAB) to encourage the capitalization of a single, national green bank – as intended by Congress – which would expand the number of entities that would benefit from the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).
“Congress understood that consolidating the grant money in a single National Green Bank would actually expand the number of entities that would benefit from the funding provided through the GGRF and the total amount of ‘funding and technical assistance’ that will be delivered to these entities,” writes CGC in the letter. “Unlike a traditional grant program with a one-time application window, the National Green Bank will have the ability to continually expand the network of new or existing entities that receive funds through the GGRF long after the application window closes.”
The letter also points to the roadmap provided by key members of Congress for how to implement the GGRF by the congressional-mandated deadline. On September 9, 2022, Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), and Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) wrote EPA Administrator Michael Regan to “encourage” the rapid maximum funding of “a single, independent, non-profit national climate bank that would maximize the leveraging of private capital investment, ensure the efficient distribution of funds within a growing green bank network and create opportunities for large scale, transformational investments — particularly in environmental justice communities…”
“We further encourage the EFAB to provide EPA with advice that is consistent with Congress’s intent, as documented by the Members of Congress that were the lead sponsors of the legislation that was incorporated into the IRA to create the GGRF. Together, the letter and the statement provide EPA with a roadmap for how to implement the GGRF and award the full amount appropriated by Congress within the time provided in the Act,” writes CGC. “As intended by Congress, capitalizing a National Green Bank is an essential component for meeting the stated purpose of the GGRF and is key to ensuring the rapid deployment of funds to communities across the country, and in particular low-income and disadvantaged communities.”
The letter further notes that no existing membership organization or network can be certain that its current members alone can meet the environmental justice mandate included in the GGRF. The National Green Bank’s flexibility is essential to meeting the President’s Justice40 goals, because low-income and disadvantaged communities are less likely to currently be served by financial institutions that will be prepared to provide green financing on Day 1. Recognizing this, Congress included a requirement that the National Green Bank provide both technical assistance and financial assistance to help create new and develop existing public, quasi-public, not-for-profit, or nonprofit entities that will provide financial assistance to qualified projects, including projects located in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
In conclusion, CGC commends EFAB for “taking on this important charge” and encourages EFAB “to provide advice to EPA that is consistent with Congress’s intent, will assist the agency in meeting its responsibilities under the IRA, can make a meaningful difference in the effort to reach low- income and disadvantaged communities, and helps the GGRF realize its full potential.”