Monday, April 20, 2009

Green Bank Act of 2009

On March 24, 2009, Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced H.R.1698, the Green Bank Act of 2009. The proposed legislation seeks to establish the Green Bank, an independent, not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation, wholly owned by the United States, which will provide financial support for qualified clean energy projects and qualified energy-efficiency projects that are unable to obtain low-priced financing in the private credit markets.

The Green Bank Act of 2009 would:

• Provide the Green Bank with an initial capitalization of $10 billion through the issuance of Green Bonds by the Department of Treasury, with a maximum authorized limit of $50 billion in Green Bonds outstanding at any one time.
• Help the country transition to a clean energy economy and create jobs through the construction and operation of clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
• Help the country address other national objectives such as abating climate change, promoting energy independence and fostering long-term domestic manufacturing capacity in clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.
• Include robust spending safeguards and public disclosure requirements for operational efficacy, accountability and transparency.

A project is a “qualified clean energy project” if it:

-is a clean energy project;
-is carried out within the United States;
-pays wages to its employees in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act;
-stays current on interest- and debt-payment obligations; and
-satisfies any other requirements established by the Green Bank.

Original co-sponsors of the act include Congressman David Loebsack (D-IA), Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU).

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