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Tonko Announces Green Bank Bill to Drive U.S. Clean Energy & Efficiency Investments

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Washington, June 23, 2017 | comments
"State Green Banks are becoming increasingly popular as state and local economies work to meet the growing demand for clean energy and energy efficiency financing,” said Tonko. “Our New York Green Bank is a leader in this field and has already delivered more than $350 million to more than two dozen projects in our state. Those projects are expected to generate more than $1 billion combined, helping us advance a more globally competitive, clean energy economy."
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WASHINGTON Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), along with Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), recently introduced the Green Bank Act of 2017 (H.R. 2995/ S. 1406 ) to create a National Green Bank that will deliver financing support to encourage private investment in local clean-energy and energy-efficient projects through regional, state, and local green banks.

“State Green Banks are becoming increasingly popular as state and local economies work to meet the growing demand for clean energy and energy efficiency financing,” said Tonko. “Our New York Green Bank is a leader in this field and has already delivered more than $350 million to more than two dozen projects in our state. Those projects are expected to generate more than $1 billion combined, helping us advance a more globally competitive, clean energy economy. I am pleased to join with my House and Senate colleagues to introduce the U.S. Green Bank Act of 2017, legislation that builds on the success of existing Green Banks, including our own New York Green Bank, to encourage even greater access to clean energy financing in communities across the U.S.”

The New York Green Bank, a division of NYSERDA, was founded in 2014 and is one of six states that have established a financing institution of this kind since 2011. New York Green Bank has leveraged $4 billion in total clean energy business investments and is on pace to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 5.4 million metric tons over the next 20 years – the equivalent of taking 70,000 cars off the road. You can read their letter of support here.

State-level green banks have generated billions of dollars in clean-energy investment. However, the biggest obstacle they face is a lack of access to capital. The National Green Bank could provide a total capitalization of $50 billion to qualified institutions, which must provide matching funds equal to at least 20% of any federal funds.

Other organizations that have endorsed the Green Bank Act include the Natural Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists, Clean Water Action, Coalition for Green Capital, Montgomery County Green Bank, Connecticut Nature Conservancy, Climate Reality Project, New York League of Conservation Voters, and Newtown Forward.

Text of the Green Bank Act is available here. A fact sheet is available here.

 

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