Matsui, Lofgren, Merkley, Introduce Legislation to Give Individuals an Opportunity to Invest in Building America’s Clean-Energy Future

Modeled after WWII victory bonds, Clean Energy Victory Bonds would spur investment in clean-energy projects, create jobs, & help the U.S. fight the climate crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06) as well as U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) introduced H.R. 3886, the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2021, bicameral legislation to give individuals the opportunity to buy Clean Energy Victory Bonds and help build America’s clean-energy future. Modeled after the highly-successful victory bonds sold during World Wars I and II, which raised billions of dollars to finance the costs of war, Clean Energy Victory Bonds would help the country create jobs and save taxpayers money while investing in clean-energy infrastructure and fighting the climate crisis.

The bill would direct the U.S. Secretaries of Treasury, Energy, and Defense to develop and issue $50 billion in Clean Energy Victory Bonds that support energy efficiency, solar, wind, geothermal, and electric vehicle efforts. For as little as $25, all Americans would be able to voluntarily purchase these Treasury bonds to invest in clean energy.

The sale of the $50 billion worth of bonds annually could be leveraged to inject $150 billion into clean-energy innovation and create more than 1 million jobs.

“Climate change will continue to be the defining fight of our lives, and we are experiencing its consequences. Right now, we have the opportunity to shape our nation’s future for generations to come and make critical investments in innovations that will help us build a green, equitable economy.” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Sacramentans and Americans across the nation know that we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to secure a future for our families. This legislation gives Americans an opportunity to take action while spurring growth in our clean energy economy, increasing domestic energy security, and creating jobs. I’m pleased to join Congresswoman Lofgren and Senator Merkley to reintroduce this important legislation which provides Americans a roadmap for investing in our collective future.”

“The clean energy economy is the future—and every American, regardless of their wealth, should have a chance to benefit from it,” said Sen. Merkley. “This legislation would help to open that door, while also fueling our transition toward the renewable energy sources that will help us kick our addiction to fossil fuels and create a safer environment for our families. That’s the kind of win-win solution we need to deliver the bold climate action we need to tackle climate chaos and also create jobs in the 21st century economy.”

“In the South Bay and around the country, individuals and families are looking for ways to do their part in building our country’s clean-energy economy and fighting climate change. The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act provides Americans with an opportunity to invest, within their means, in innovative technologies that will yield profits both for themselves and our society,” said Rep. Lofgren. “This is my fifth time reintroducing this bill, and I feel strongly that, as momentum continues to build in California and around the country to be good stewards of our environment, we must employ proven economic growth-based tactics to tackle climate change. We all benefit when we invest in America’s future.”

Background
The Clean Energy Victory Bonds would raise extra funds for investment in clean-energy and energy-efficiency deployment, including by:

  • Providing additional support to existing federal financing programs available to States for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy deployment;
  • Providing funding for clean energy investments by all federal agencies;
  • Providing funding for electric grid enhancements and connections that enable clean energy deployment;
  • Providing funding to renovate existing inefficient buildings or building new energy efficient buildings;
  • Providing tax incentives and tax credits for clean energy technologies;
  • Providing funding for new innovation research, including ARPA-E, public competitions similar to those designed by the X Prize Foundation, grants provided through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy, or other mechanisms to fund revolutionary clean energy technology;
  • Providing additional funding for zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing;
  • Providing additional funding to existing federal, State, and local grant programs that finance clean energy projects; and
  • Providing prioritized funding for clean energy projects that are located in and reduce energy rates in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

The Clean Energy Victory Bonds would:

  • be available to the public in denominations as low as $25;
  • accrue interest based on savings achieved through reduced-energy spending by the federal government and interest collected on loans provided from proceeds of the bonds; and
  • be capped at $50 billion each year.

Click here for full text of the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2021.

The bill is supported by various organizations, including Green America, American Sustainable Business Council, National Wildlife Federation, Self-Help Credit Union & Ventures Fund, New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, Social Venture Circle, Closed Loop Partners, Green Retirement, Inc., Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Trillium Asset Management.

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