On Friday, CGC submitted a response to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Request for Information on a “Potential Green Financing Mechanism to be Established by the State of New Jersey.” The full response can be viewed here.
New Jersey has been making steady progress towards the creation of a transformative Green Financing Mechanism (aka a Green Bank). Most recently, the state announced a $12 million annual commitment to fund the institution through allocations from RGGI. CGC has been engaged in New Jersey for several years, beginning with starting with a 2018 analysis of the clean energy finance opportunity in New Jersey produced by the Environmental Defense Fund and CGC.
CGC’s response highlights the ability of a Green Bank to make progress on critical priorities. The largest sources of emissions in New Jersey are transportation, power and buildings. While lowering emissions in these sectors is essential, maintaining or lowering the cost of energy to New Jersey households and businesses is equally critical. This is truer now more than ever, as households struggle to make ends meet. The essential role of the Green Bank is to provide its financing in a way that can still attract private capital that earns its necessary return while also delivering affordable clean energy.
Furthermore, over a million workers in New Jersey are out of work, many from industries that will not soon bounce back and create jobs to rehire. That means the state must look to reshape its labor force and give its citizens new, better jobs of the future with good pay in safe condition. Construction of the state’s clean power platform requires people of all skills. Sales, customer service, marketing, engineering, contracting and other skills are needed. The Green Bank can be the vehicle to put New Jersey back to work again.
With funding commitments in place, the RFI is the next step in further clarifying the process for bringing a Green Bank to life in New Jersey. Based on prior engagement with stakeholders in the state, CGC’s response recommends forming the Green Bank as a program that is housed, launched and incubated within the EDA, and which is ultimately able to stand on its own as an independent non-profit corporation. This would let the Green Bank enjoy the best of both worlds: the benefits of strong backing by the state at its inception, while ensuring it can operate independently and with strength long into the future as administrations come and go.
38.6 million Americans have now filed for unemployment benefits in the 9 weeks since the coronavirus crisis hit. It was originally hoped that this explosion of joblessness was merely temporary, with workers quickly returning to the old jobs still waiting for them. But that optimism is fading, as economists now predict that many of the job losses will become permanent.
A new working paper from the University of Chicago estimates that “42 percent of the recent layoffs will result in permanent job losses.” That would mean 16.2 million Americans will need to find new jobs.
More than 2 months into this joblessness crisis, neither in Congress nor the White House seems eager to tackle the issue of job creation. Over $3 trillion has spent on vital healthcare and economic disaster relief. But, not a single dollar of that previously-implausible sum of spending was put towards job creation.
As the full scale of this labor market shock comes into focus, our federal government must turn its eyes towards genuine stimulus and job creation. And Americans overwhelmingly want the government to create new jobs in clean energy. CGC polling found that 4 out of 5 voters nationally want the government to invest in job creation in clean energy. This includes the majority of voters in both parties.
And the Clean Energy Jobs Fund is the preferred mechanism for this investment. In fact, 7 out of 10 voters want Congress to deposit $35B of public funds into the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is based on the principles laid out in the National Climate Bank Act.
What would this $35B accomplish? Using the proven and practiced techniques of green banks, $35B of public funds would turn into approximately $350B of total investment over five years. This in turn would create 5 million jobs during that time period.
The Clean Energy Jobs Fund could put nearly a third of all permanently displaced workers back into the labor force. And it would be an enormous savings for Congress and the American people.
If Congress were to invest $70,000 per job that needed to be created, it would require $1,134B of stimulus to put all 16.2M Americans back to work. But if Congress invested $35B into the Clean Energy Jobs Fund to put 5M of those Americans back to work, then it would only require $784B of stimulus to create jobs for those remaining. This approach would, on net, require $315B less stimulus.
How is this possible? It’s because the Clean Energy Jobs Fund would use public fund to mobilize private co-investment into all of its activities. Whether the construction of renewable power to lower energy costs for households or installing battery storage to make communities more resilient, there is private capital eager to invest. The Clean Energy Jobs Fund will make each public dollar go farther.
As Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told Congress last week, “There is clear evidence that when you have a situation where people are unemployed for long periods of time, that can permanently weigh on their careers and their ability to go back to work.” The time for Congress to invest in job creation is now, and it should do so with the Clean Energy Jobs Fund.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As the temperature continues to climb, so do utility bills. There is an organization that’s helping the front line heroes of this pandemic get a cheaper option.
Voters nationally support the formation of a national green bank by nearly a 3-to-1 margin as a way to create new jobs in clean energy. This is according to new polling and policy recommendations put forward by the Clean Jumpstart, a joint initiative by Evergreen Action and Data for Progress.
Evergreen Action was formed by leaders from the Jay Inslee presidential campaign to continue advancing the strong climate policies put forward by Governor Inslee. When released, the Governor’s “Evergreen Economy” plan was the first presidential candidate’s platform to include formation of a national green bank.
The Clean Jumpstart plan explains how addressing the unemployment crisis and addressing climate are one in the same. New legislation put forward this week by House Democrats continues Congress’s focus on economic relief. There is no doubt that this is essential, but Clean Jumpstart argues:
“While aid to state, local and tribal governments is much-needed, this package, and the ones that came before it, is yet another missed opportunity to invest in growing the clean energy economy. Such investments are critical to capturing the United States’ best economic opportunity for growth and confront the climate crisis that portends growing harm to the health of American communities.”
This robust set of policy recommendations only reinforces the polling done just last week by the Coalition for Green Capital. That poll found that 4 out 5 voters nationally want Congress to invest in job creation in clean energy. And that 7 out of 10 voters want Congress to deposit $35B into a nonpartisan, nonprofit Clean Energy Jobs Fund to carry out that mission as the nation’s green bank.
Now 36 million workers have been put out of work since the start of the dual health and economic crisis. And consensus is growing that there will be no “snap back” to full employment and economic recovery, possibly for many years.
That means, hopefully sooner rather than later, Congress must get the task of job creation. And now polling from Clean Jumpstart can be added to that from CGC demonstrating the overwhelming support from voters for job creation in clean energy through investment in a national green bank.
As Congress considers pivoting from disaster relief to economic stimulus and governors gradually open up their states to activity, four out of five voters want government investment in clean energy, communications and transportation to produce new jobs, according to a new survey conducted by the nonprofit Coalition for Green Capital.
But neither business nor government leaders have yet earned the trust of a majority of voters.
Voters most trust state and local government to create new jobs (38%). They register less trust in job creation efforts by Donald Trump (34%), small business (32%), Joe Biden (25%), Nancy Pelosi (17%), and, at the absolute bottom, Mitch McConnell (7%).
Joe Biden clearly has to step up his message on job creation. Donald Trump should be struck by the fact that to date his response to the unemployment crisis causes 36% of independents – the key block for re-election prospects — to be less likely to vote for him, and only 27% of them to be more likely to vote for him. Among all voters his response makes 39% more likely, 38% less likely to support him, but one of five voters answers don’t know. These results indicate that the next few months are determinative in shaping public opinion about presidential leadership on the economy. However, views on his response to unemployment reveal a dramatic gender gap: women report that Trump’s response makes them less likely to vote for him by a margin of 48% to 33%, men say it makes them more likely to vote for him by 42% to 31%.
Overall, the low scores for everyone on the trust question indicate to us that voters have not heard a compelling, credible job creation message from anyone. The message to the private sector and both presidential campaigns is clear: you have work to do in proving you have a plan to produce work.
But everyone must note that four out of five voters want government stimulus to create clean energy jobs. By contrast, barely half support investment to create jobs in oil, gas and coal. Among independents, 75% support clean energy job creation, against only 47% who support government investment creating jobs in carbon industries. Underlying these results is a profound shift of attitude about climate change. Four out of five voters think climate change is a major crisis or at least a real problem to be solved.
Strategists for the two presidential campaigns must recognize also that in the key swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan voters oppose government job creation in oil, gas and coal by margins of 47% to 38% and 43% to 39% respectively. By contrast, 77% of the voters in Michigan and 72% in Wisconsin want the government to create clean energy jobs. Although some political leaders have labelled economic stimulus for clean energy in this crisis as “opportunism,” the poll shows that job creation in this sector is an opportunity to carry the swing states crucial to winning the electoral college.
In terms of how to create new jobs, seven out of ten voters approve of the US government depositing $35 billion in a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that would create five million new clean energy jobs. This plan is succeeding today in a number of state and local green banks already in operation in New York, Florida, Connecticut, Rhode Island and elsewhere. Legislation to implement this plan at the federal level has been introduced in the House and Senate and could be incorporated in any job creation package.
Seventy percent or more of voters want jobs created in these specific activities: solar and wind power, transmission lines for carrying renewable energy, protecting communities from fires and storms, tree planting in environmentally important areas (including Appalachia), and renovating buildings to make them more energy efficient. It’s clear that Americans want to build a new country, based on a clean power platform. By huge margins voters see clean power construction work, as well as other infrastructure employment, as a way out of this crisis and into the sunny uplands of a better country. Political leaders who want to respond to the voters’ preferences will see a clear message in these poll results.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2020
Voters In Dem Swing Districts Support Creation of Clean Energy Jobs Fund to Revive Economy
Poll surveyed all 42 frontline districts identified by DCCC
WASHINGTON—Three out of four voters in swing House districts currently represented by Democrats overwhelmingly favor funding clean energy infrastructure to put Americans back to work, according to a new Coalition for Green Capital | Survey Monkey Poll. To accomplish this, 64 percent of those same voters in the 44 Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Frontline districts want Congress to deposit $35 billion into a nonprofit Clean Energy Jobs Fund as envisioned in H.R. 5416 and S. 2057.
An estimated 5 million jobs would be created from this.
“Voters who will determine which party controls the House next year have a clear message: Fund the building of wind turbines, transmission lines and electric vehicle charging equipment so we can put people back to work,” Coalition for Green Capital CEO Reed Hundt said.
“If Congress provides the Clean Energy Jobs Fund nonprofit the capital it needs, we can create more than 5 million new jobs during the next five years in building a stronger and cleaner future,” Coalition for Green Capital Executive Director Jeff Schub said.
Other key findings in the poll include:
- 79 percent support investments in creating jobs that build transportation, water and sewage infrastructure
- 78 percent support investments in creating jobs that build communications infrastructure, like bringing high-speed Internet to rural areas
This analysis is based on a SurveyMonkey online poll conducted among 607 likely 2020 voters ages 18 and older in 44 front line districts as identified by the DCCC between April 23 – May 1. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is ±4 percentage points.
View the poll, which also includes swing Senate seats.
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