Follows recommendation by National Academies of Science
WASHINGTON—A bill to create a national green bank has gained bipartisan support in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last week, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) became the first Republican to cosponsor H.R. 806 introduced by Rep. Debbie Dingell.
Sponsors of the Senate bill include Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).
About the bill
Under the bill, $100 billion would be used as seed capital to drive nearly $500 billion in investment to build clean energy infrastructure and put more than 4 million people to work in four years. Forty percent of the funds must go to communities disproportionately affected by environmental pollution, climate change impacts or economically reliant on a fossil fuel-based industry.
A network of a dozen state and local green banks have identified more than $21 billion in projects ready to go if funding was available.
Earlier this month, the National Academies of Science recommended that Congress fund an institution based on the green bank model. In its report, it wrote, “Private sources of capital are unlikely to be sufficient to finance the low-carbon economic transition, especially during the 2020s when the effort is new. To ensure industrial competitiveness and quality of life, the United States should establish a Green Bank to mobilize finance for low-carbon infrastructure and business in America.
In January, two independent reports by the Analysis Group and The Brattle Group found that a national Clean Energy Accelerator would have an outsized impact helping the United States recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and also speed up the country’s deep decarbonization and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) efforts.
President-elect Joe Biden included the Accelerator in his climate plan and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris co-sponsored the Senate effort. In 2020, nearly 100 organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders supporting the effort.
Need for action
With 16 million Americans still receiving unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic and studies showing that up to 42 percent of those jobs will not return, Congress must urgently make long term investments that create jobs and build a cleaner future.
Learn more about the effort at https://