House Provides $20B to Nonprofit Accelerator for Clean Energy, Transportation Infrastructure
Based on National Climate Bank legislation included in House Climate Action Plan
20% of funds required to go to low-income, minority communities
WASHINGTON —The U.S. House of Representatives today provided $20 billion for a nonprofit accelerator to build clean energy and transportation infrastructure and put millions back to work. The nonprofit accelerator and funding, based on the National Climate Bank Act, was added to the Moving America Forward Act by a vote of 243-178. Final passage is expected tomorrow.
The nonprofit accelerator would use the proven green bank model to fund projects. With this $20 billion, more than 3 million jobs can be created. With $35 billion, 5.4 million jobs could be created. 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.
“We must build a cleaner and stronger future for our country. This nonprofit accelerator and funding will put people to work and reduce the impact that climate change has on low-income and communities of color,” Coalition for Green Capital cofounder and CEO Reed Hundt said. “We urge Senate leaders to use this tool that a dozen states have shown works to create millions of jobs.”
The passage of the funding and legislation—based on H.R. 5416 and S. 2057 and introduced by U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, respectively—comes after the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis included it in an action plan on Tuesday.
Hundt added: “This addition reflects more than a decade of advocacy by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Chairman Frank Pallone, Sen. Ed Markey, Sen. Chris Van Hollen and many others. Especially innovative and exciting is the commitment to fund a nonprofit accelerator, and the good news is it already exists and is ready to roll as soon as the $20 billion is deposited.”
Authorized projects include 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.
The inclusion of the nonprofit accelerator comes after nearly 100 organizations sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders requesting future economic recovery legislation include such funding. With 40 million Americans filing for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic so far 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.
Recent national polling shows eight out of 10 Americans want Congress to create clean energy jobs and seven out of 10 support depositing billions to achieve this.