The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate introduced the Clean Energy Victory Bond today. The legislation — introduced in the House by Representatives Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui and in the Senate by Senator Tom Udall — calls for the government to issue up to $50 billion per year in Clean Energy Victory Bonds that all Americans could purchase for as little as $25 per bond.
The funds raised from the bonds would support wind, solar, battery storage, infrastructure, and energy efficiency technologies at the state and federal level, and tax incentives and credits supporting businesses and individuals that adopt these technologies.
Modeled after the highly successful victory bonds sold during World War I and World War II, which raised billions of dollars to finance the costs of war, Clean Energy Victory Bonds would help communities across the country invest in clean energy infrastructure and fight the climate crisis while also creating countless jobs and saving taxpayers money.
The bill would direct the Treasury Department to develop Clean Energy Victory Bonds backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government and available to the public in denominations as low as $25. Those U.S. Treasury bonds would be used to invest in clean energy projects to help the federal government lower its carbon emissions and promote clean energy development.
Investors would earn back their full investment, plus interest that comes from energy savings to the government and loan repayments for clean energy projects. The sale of these bonds could raise up to $50 billion, which could be leveraged to inject $150 billion into clean energy innovation and create over 1 million jobs.
“Americans on both sides of the political divide understand the need for urgent action on the energy and environmental challenges we face,” said Lofgren. “Individual citizens are looking for avenues to take ownership of these efforts and this legislation provides them with an opportunity to invest within their means in an array of clean energy projects.”
With the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calling for a transition to a clean energy future in the next 12 years, and over 70% of the U.S. public supporting aggressive action on climate change, Clean Energy Victory Bonds can provide a major boost to the clean energy future without raising taxes. The technologies supported by Clean Energy Victory Bonds are also major job creators, with jobs in wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies outpacing the growth of those in the fossil fuel sector.
The legislation has been endorsed by Green America, the American Sustainable Business Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, and National Wildlife Federation.
“Now is the time for bold action to finance the development of our nation’s clean energy infrastructure,” said Fran Teplitz, Executive Co-Director for Business, Investing & Policy at Green America, the nation’s leading green economy organization. “Clean Energy Victory Bonds give the public the opportunity to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency that will make the U.S. a global leader in the clean energy economy upon which our very future depends.”
“Responsible business leaders support a speedy transition to a clean energy economy. The Clean Energy Victory Bond would provide new investment for renewable and energy efficiency that will strengthen our economy, create jobs, and increase U.S. competitiveness globally. We applaud the members of Congress introducing this legislation for their commitment to addressing climate change while also building our economy,“ said Jeffrey Hollender, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council.