The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act was reintroduced in Congress this month. The bill would create a new class of Treasury bonds, starting as low as $25, the proceeds of which would be used to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. The project was inspired by the Victory Bonds that allowed Americans to help fund World War II and is supported by a number of green business organizations, including the American Sustainable Business Council and Green America.
Reliable, long-term financing has been one of the greatest obstacles to moving toward a clean energy future. Financing through a special class of bonds can be a big part of the solution. The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2014 works to create an investment vehicle that allows Americans to invest in one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy, as well as a means to collectively provide a secure and sustainable energy future, create jobs, and regain our competitive advantage in clean energy technology.
By adopting Clean Energy Victory Bonds (CEVB), the U.S. would be able to harness the power of the American public to invest in the effort to transition to a more sustainable economy with cleaner and more secure energy sources. In the same spirit that Americans invested in WWII Victory Bonds to support the war effort, CEVBs will provide a channel for Americans to mobilize toward the goal of a globally competitive clean technology industry and domestic energy security. The implementation of CEVBs will help facilitate much-needed investments in the development and manufacturing of innovative clean technologies and lead to the creation of 1.7 million domestic jobs.
The United States was once the leading innovator and exporter of renewable sources of energy and technologies. Currently, however, the US lags behind the likes of Germany, China, Italy, Canada, Spain, and Brazil in clean energy investments as a percentage of GDP. In 2010 alone, China made $48 billion in renewable energy investments compared to just $25 billion by the United States.
In addition to the economic benefits of these clean energy investments, providing for the development of domestically sourced energy will significantly alleviate national security concerns associated with our dependence on foreign oil. Also, the environmental and health benefits of reducing the pollution associated with the burning of fossil fuels will greatly reduce health care costs and alleviate the productivity losses associated with these pollution-related health conditions.
Backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government, CEVBs will provide investors a risk-free investment vehicle with a return equal to or greater than the market rates on U.S. Treasury Bonds, without raising taxes on any individuals or businesses. By producing and securing a domestically sourced energy supply, the U.S. can also insulate consumers and businesses from the uncertainty and price fluctuations associated with procuring fossil fuels in unstable global markets.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Doris Matsui (D-HI) are the chief sponsors and as of April 16, the bill had 17 co-sponsors. There is not yet a companion version in the Senate at this time. The bill number is H.R. 4426 and the bill has been assigned to the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.