Washington, D.C.//June 15, 2021 – A new bill in Congress allowing Americans to buy “Clean Energy Victory Bonds” for as little as $25 in order to support the expansion of solar, wind, battery storage, infrastructure, energy efficiency technologies, and related tax incentives for individuals and businesses, is earning the praise of Green America, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), the National Wildlife Federation, and several other groups. The legislation introduced by Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui (H.R. 3886) and Sen. Jeff Merkley calls for the government to issue up to $50 billion per year in Clean Energy Victory Bonds.
Clean Energy Victory Bonds would provide a way for all Americans to safely invest in and benefit from this transition. The legislation also allocates significant federal investment into economically disadvantaged communities to advance a more equitable clean energy economy.
“Americans from all walks of life want the US to adopt renewable energy to create good paying jobs, while addressing the climate crisis,” said Todd Larsen, Green America’s executive co-director for consumer and corporate engagement. “In World War II, Victory Bonds offered Americans a way to support the war effort. Now, Clean Energy Victory Bonds will offer all Americans a safe investment, open to anyone with $25, to support a rapid adoption of the solar, wind, and battery storage technologies that will create cleaner air for us all now and help protect future generations from climate impacts.”
“Green businesses, whose operations support social justice and environmental sustainability, have long advocated for a clean energy economy. The Clean Energy Victory Bond offers a sound, viable way to generate financing, with a focus on equity, to advance clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Fran Teplitz, director, Green America’s Green Business Network.
“Clean Energy Victory Bonds will provide a much-needed economic boost to our businesses and economy,” said David Levine, co-founder and president, American Sustainable Business Council. “Coming out of COVID-19, this bill provides a reliable and highly-accessible financing mechanism that allows the private sector and all Americans to provide the needed dollars for building a more just and sustainable economy.”
“Climate change is bearing down on us with increasing intensity, with particularly severe consequences for wildlife and already vulnerable communities,” said Shannon Heyck-Williams, director of climate and energy policy at the National Wildlife Federation. “This smart proposal from Representatives Lofgren and Matsui and Senator Merkley gives people the opportunity to directly support the climate-safe future we all need. And by dedicating forty percent of proceeds to new clean energy projects in disadvantaged communities, the bill will help communities that are burdened by pollution and high energy bills by expanding access to climate solutions and opportunities.”
“Clean Energy Victory Bonds provide an opportunity for Americans to participate in the financial benefits of their communities’ conversion to clean renewable energy,” said Ron Gonen, CEO, Closed Loop Partners.
“Self-Help welcomes the reintroduction of the Clean Energy Victory Bond bill, adding capital to finance the transition away from fossil fuels. Of particular note, the bill focuses capital to underserved communities where the transition away from fossil fuels can have the greatest impact and the lack of capital access is most acute," stated Melissa Malkin-Weber, sustainability director, Self Help Credit Union & Ventures Fund.
“The Clean Energy Victory Bond bill is an excellent example of common sense and shows what is possible when we work together. The funds raised by the bonds will create competitive-paying jobs in clean energy at a time when good jobs are solely needed. Clean energy is also a good way to protect the health and safety of Americans by reducing local air and water pollution. And consumers who avail of clean energy will not be subject to the volatile price increases in fossil fuels as seen during the February 2021 Texas snowstorm. This bill is a true win-win,” said Timothy R. Yee, president of Green Retirement, Inc.
“Faith- and values-based investors join in welcoming this safe and reliable financing mechanism open to anyone with $25 to invest in building a just and resilient economy," said Christina Herman, Climate & Environmental Program director at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. "We need to ensure an equitable transition to a clean energy economy in the U.S., and Clean Energy Victory Bonds can help supply the capital needed to shift from dirty to clean energy, especially needed in low-income and communities of color."
“Where the benefits and profits of the clean energy industry have historically been claimed overwhelmingly by America's wealthiest, Clean Energy Victory Bonds would help democratize participation in the low-carbon transition, allowing investors large and small to make low-risk investments in a more sustainable future. In alluding to the Victory Bonds of World War II, Clean Energy Victory Bonds will convey both urgency and optimism regarding American participation in the global battle against climate change,” said Cheryl I. Smith, Ph.D., CFA, chief economist and head of Fixed Income Management, Trillium Asset Management.
With the US and countries around the world experiencing their hottest years on record and growing natural disasters causing billions of dollars of damage in the US alone, support among the American public for a transition to renewable energy technologies is strong. Eighty percent of Americans support a move to solar and wind, and over two-thirds of the public want the US Government to do more. The cost of solar and wind power decreased dramatically in the past two decades, providing the opportunity to scale these technologies up to meet 100 percent of US electricity by 2035. Now, the US needs to increase investment in solar and wind to meet the ambitious timelines for adoption that will help keep global temperature increases under two degrees Celsius.
ABOUT GREEN AMERICA
Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses, investors, and consumers to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.GreenAmerica.org
ABOUT AMERICAN SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS COUNCIL
The American Sustainable Business Council partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable, stakeholder economy. ASBC is a multi-issue, business organization advocating on behalf of all sectors, sizes, and geographies of industry. ASBC and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks. ASBC is coalition-focused in our approach to solving the pervasive and systemic issues of climate and energy, infrastructure, circular economy, and creating an inclusive just stakeholder economy. ASBC is changing the rules by which business is done so it is better for all people and the environment.
ABOUT NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
The National Wildlife Federation unites all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world. We believe America’s experience with cherished landscapes and wildlife has helped define and shape our national character and identity for generations. To hunters, anglers, and other outdoor enthusiasts, this conservation ethic represents a sacred duty and obligation to protect and build upon our conservation heritage for the sake of wildlife, ourselves, our neighbors, and—most of all—for future generations.