Democrats offer green bank bills

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014

House Democrats are attempting to revive an approach to mobilizing private financing for clean energy projects by establishing a national green bank.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, led seven colleagues in introducing the bill, H.R. 4522. A similar idea was included in the greenhouse gas cap-and-trade bill that passed the House in 2009, but efforts to revive it have been largely dormant since then.The bill would establish a government-owned, not-for-profit green bank with an initial $10 billion to support financing of renewable energy, efficiency and similar projects by leveraging other funding sources outside of the federal government. It would offer loans, loan guarantees, insurance and other types of support.The bill’s cost would be paid for by eliminating a tax loophole Democrats say encourages businesses to invest money overseas, according to a summary.

“Reclaiming America’s leadership in the global clean energy race of the 21st century, ensuring our nation’s long term energy independence, and tackling climate change has never been more critical than it is today,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “We can and must accomplish these vital national objectives, and creating the Green Bank will bring us one step closer to that reality.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered similar legislation in the Senate, S. 2271, a copy of which was not immediately available.