U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Doris Matsui, D-Calif., have introduced bicameral legislation to give Americans the opportunity to buy “clean energy victory bonds.”
Modeled after victory bonds sold during World War I and World War II, which raised billions of dollars to finance the costs of war, the lawmakers explain, clean energy victory bonds would help communities across the country invest in renewable energy.
“Years ago, victory bonds helped America win World War II and defeat fascism,” says Udall. “Today, they can also help us combat the existential threat of climate change. Clean energy victory bonds will help us harness the same spirit of patriotism and national commitment that helped unite us to win World War II and channel it into the fight against the climate crisis.”
The bill would direct the U.S. Department of the Treasury to develop the bonds, “backed by the full faith and credit” of the U.S. government and available to the public in denominations as low as $25.
These bonds would be used to invest in projects to help the federal government lower its carbon emissions and promote clean energy development. According to the lawmakers, the investors would earn back their full investment, plus interest that comes from energy savings to the government and loan repayments for clean energy projects. The sale of these bonds could raise up to $50 billion, they say.
“We all benefit as Americans when we invest in the future of our country,” says Lofgren. “I am pleased to reintroduce the Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act for the fourth time, as momentum builds in California and across the country for aggressive action on climate change. Americans on both sides of the political divide understand the need for urgent action on the energy and environmental challenges we face. Individual citizens are looking for avenues to take ownership of these efforts, and this legislation provides them with an opportunity to invest within their means in an array of clean energy projects.”
“This year, we have seen historic levels of interest and activism from the American people in solving the climate crisis. All they want are the tools to engage and contribute to this vision,” notes Matsui. “The American people can do anything they set their mind to, and by creating clean energy victory bonds, we are empowering them to take part in the expansion of clean energy technology.”
The bill is supported by organizations including Green America, the American Sustainable Business Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Wildlife Federation.