May 17, 2019

Van Hollen, Democratic Senators Introduce Green Bank Act of 2019

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) joined Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) this week to introduce the Green Bank Act of 2019. This legislation – originally introduced in 2009 by then-Congressman Van Hollen – would create a national green bank to deploy public financing for regional, state, and municipal green banks. This federal financing would unleash large-scale, private investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects, particularly for low- to moderate-income families, creating thousands of clean energy jobs while combating climate change. The bill ensures that green banks in U.S. Territories would be eligible for federal financing, and it would provide assistance to eligible jurisdictions seeking to establish their own green banks.  

“Increasing our investment in renewable energy technologies will not only put us on a path to a more sustainable future but also create good-paying American jobs. This legislation will provide state and local Green Banks the support they need to jump-start innovative clean energy projects,” said Van Hollen. “I was proud to lead this effort in the House of Representatives and to continue the fight in the Senate. As this Administration blatantly ignores the harmful effects of climate change, the creation of a national Green Bank is one way we can move forward on building a 21st century clean energy economy.”

“I’m proud that Connecticut was the first state in the country to create a green bank, which has led to thousands of jobs and billions of dollars invested in clean energy products around the state. Our bill takes this model nationally so states from all around the country can create their own green banks and pull from these resources to help create clean jobs and reduce carbon pollution. Climate change poses a serious security risk to our country, and public and private investments will be critical to solving it,” said Murphy.

“The Green Bank Act is a common sense measure that builds on the success of Connecticut and other states who have shown that green banks are a win-win for our economy and our planet,” said Blumenthal. “For nearly a decade, Connecticut’s groundbreaking Green Bank has shown the nation how to catalyze large investments in clean energy projects at a massive scale. It has spurred good-paying green jobs and lowered energy costs for consumers in the state, while reducing CO2 emissions and preserving our planet.”

"A national green infrastructure bank would provide states like Rhode Island with capital to make strategic long-term investments in clean energy and sustainable infrastructure," said Whitehouse. "Building new, more efficient infrastructure from coast to coast will create good jobs and save energy, all while reducing the carbon pollution driving climate change." 

“Green financing is an important leverage opportunity for investment into climate solutions for communities. We must find ways to accelerate the pace of climate mitigation and adaptation around this country today. I thank Senator Murphy for his leadership introducing legislation to provide municipalities with this important tool to address the climate crisis,” said Markey.

“Senator Murphy is drawing up a blueprint for winning the battle against climate change. That fight will establish American global leadership and create millions of jobs,” said Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital.  

Full text of the bill can be viewed here.