An amendment filed to pending legislation in the United States Senate seeks to instruct the U.S. Department of the Treasury to make recommendations for how to proceed with the issuing and promotion of Clean Energy Victory Bonds.
The amendment (S.Amdt.3102), introduced by U.S. Senator for New Mexico Tom Udall, would amend S.2012 (Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015) and allow people to make clean energy investments as little as $25.
The amendment also instructs Treasury to determine how to use the proceeds to finance clean energy projects that provide additional support to existing federal financing programs available to states for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy deployment. It also provides funding for clean energy investments by federal agencies.
Modeled after the war bonds which raised billions of dollars during World War I and World War II, the Clean Energy Victory Bonds amendment would help local, state and federal governments raise billions of dollars in capital that they could then invest in building clean energy infrastructure.
This includes solar fields, geo-thermal heating and cooling systems, and energy-efficient building upgrades. These projects would help communities across the country fight climate change and save taxpayers money, while also helping drive U.S. economic development through investments and by creating thousands of jobs in construction and installation.
Specifically, it is estimated that 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.
Sen. Udall said in a release that “Americans in New Mexico and across the country want to do their part to help the United States fight climate change and build a strong clean energy economy.” The Senator added that most people can’t afford to invest in a clean energy mutual fund, but many can set aside $25 or $50 for a Clean Energy Victory Bond.
The bonds would be sold by the Department of the Treasury and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. Purchasing Clean Energy Victory Bonds would be voluntary for investors, who would earn back their full investment, plus interest through energy savings and loan repayments.
The proposed amendment is supported by various organizations such the American Sustainable Business Council, Green America, and the National Wildlife Federation, among others.
Green America Executive Co-Director Fran Teplitz said in a release that “Clean Energy Victory Bonds will offer a completely safe investment opportunity available for as little as $25 that will help create competitively paying jobs across the country. They will expand clean energy and energy efficiency technologies without raising taxes.”
David Levine, CEO and co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council, added that “Clean Energy Victory Bonds allow Americans to invest in one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy and provide funding to secure a sustainable energy future, create jobs, and regain our competitive advantage in clean energy technology.”