Updating WWII “War Bond” Model to Spark Job Creation, Energy Security, Clean Energy, and Increased Energy Efficiency
WASHINGTON, DC - April 8, 2014 - Clean energy boosters on Capitol Hill are borrowing a page from World War II “war bonds” by introducing today a new bill – the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2014. Available in denominations starting as low as $25, this proposed new U.S. Treasury bond will enable Americans to invest in the nation’s clean energy future.
The bill was introduced by U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cali.) and Doris Matsui (D-Cali.) and includes 14 co-sponsors: Rep. Mike Honda (D-Cali.), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Judy Chu (D-Cali.), Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), Re. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL), Re. Katherine Clark (Mass.), Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Cali.), Rep. Lois Capps (D-Cali.), Rep. George Miller (D-Cali.)and Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ).
The bill is endorsed by Green America and the American Sustainable Business Council, which together represent half a million consumers, companies, organizations, and investors. For more information, go to http://www.CleanEnergyVictoryBonds.org.
Clean Energy Victory Bonds will create the following major benefits:
- Leverage $50 billion investment to provide up to $150 billion in public and private financing to fund the production of innovative energy technologies, at a time when the US is falling behind other countries in clean energy manufacture and installation.
- Help create at least one million competitively-paying jobs in the U.S.
- Support America’s clean energy sector, helping to ensure that the U.S. remains a world leader in this increasingly crucial and competitive industry.
- Reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of energy, enhance national security, and limit price increases and fluctuations.
- Provide a secure, competitive, government-backed investment vehicle for average Americans and investment institutions alike seeking a safe place for their money.
- Offer flexible redemption options at interest rates superior to most bank accounts.
- Help all Americans to invest in the future of their country and benefit from their investments.
- Promote a cleaner environment through the financing of clean energy technologies.
- Protect the health and safety of Americans by reducing local air and water pollution throughout the country.
Todd Larsen, corporate responsibility division director, Green America, said: “This bond is modelled after the successful WW II Victory Bond which millions of Americans purchased. The Clean Energy Victory Bond will provide individual and institutional investors with the opportunity to invest in clean energy sectors such as solar, wind, second generation biofuels, electric vehicles, and residential and commercial energy efficiency programs. There are currently few investment opportunities for the average investor interested in supporting the shift to a clean energy economy so this bond fills a need for both investors and industry.”
“From a business perspective, the Clean Energy Victory Bond makes great sense,” said Richard Eidlin, co-founder & policy director, American Sustainable Business Council. “The clean energy industry has not had the steady flow of financial support that investors and business need to plan effectively, resulting in investors often deciding to place their investments overseas rather than in the US.”
Tax incentives for renewable energy come and go, often without predictability, leaving investors and industry scrambling. The Clean Energy Victory Bond would extend vital tax credits for a decade, giving emerging industries the support they need to develop and become increasing competitive.
“The Clean Energy Victory Bond also has a key role in protecting human and environmental health by supporting energy sources that can replace fossil fuels,” added Fran Teplitz, social investing and policy director, Green America. “Our future well-being depends on developing clean energy. Now is the time to create a clean energy investment option backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, one that millions of Americans can buy.”
Many business leaders, especially of the small to mid-size businesses that drive our economy, know that they are ill-prepared to cope with increasing, extreme weather conditions – one result of carbon pollution from fossil fuels.
“From disruption of their supply chain to physical damage to their workplace, small businesses are exceptionally vulnerable to climate change,” added Eidlin. “Moreover, the renewable energy and efficiency sectors can create more long-lasting domestic jobs than the fossil fuel industry and the Clean Energy Victory Bond promises to create at least a million new U.S. jobs from coast to coast.”
ABOUT THE GROUPS
Green America works to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. The organization has a national membership of 170,000 consumers and a green business network of 3,000 companies and investment firms screened for the social and environmental impacts. Green America has a long-standing program dedicated to advancing our clean energy economy. More information at www.GreenAmerica.org and at www.CleanEnergyVictoryBonds.org.
The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and its member organizations represent more than 200,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 325,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors. The Council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations, and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy and women and minority leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. More information at www.asbcouncil.org.
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