Washington, DC— Today, Representative Jim Himes (CT-04) along with 13 colleagues introduced the National Green Bank Act. A National Green Bank would capitalize eligible green banks set up by states, counties, and municipalities. These local green banks would be able to make financing in the form of direct financing support or credit enhancement for eligible energy efficiency, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower, fuel cell, and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure projects, among others.
“Investment and innovation are the quickest path to a green and sustainable future,” said Himes. “Currently, green banks at the state level are helping leverage private funding by providing security and stability. It’s time we raise the scale to the national level. We will always continue to fight for bold environmental-policy reforms, but it is just as essential that we ensure a flow of capital to those who are on the forefront of green-tech.”
There are 14 Green Banks in 9 different states and the District of Columbia. Since 2011, these Green Banks have caused $3.67b in total investment into their local economies. Green Banks exist from Hawaii to Rhode Island, and the nation's first Green Bank was established in Connecticut in 2011. Since its inception, the Connecticut Green Bank has leveraged $237m in public funds to cause over $1.5b in total investment in Connecticut. This has resulted in 16,570 job-years in the state, while cutting carbon dioxide emissions by an equivalent amount to taking a million cars off of the road for one year.
“The National Green Bank initially would be capitalized through a sale of $10 Billion in green bonds,” Himes continued. “These funds would then be used to support the efforts by the banks set up by states, counties, and municipalities. This bill is particularly exciting because it’s expanding a proven model that has shown success across the country.”
Jeffrey Schub, Executive Director of the Coalition for Green Capital, said, "For years, Green Banks have been demonstrating a track record of success at the state and local level, and CGC has worked closely with these institutions to build and innovate on the Green Bank model. This bill takes that proven framework and elevates it to a new level of ambition. It's exactly the type of bold approach that's needed to hasten the clean energy transition, while saving money for consumers and making clean energy accessible to all."