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PACENation’s Five Big Ideas for the Biden Administration (only one of them requires Congress!)

Over the past few months, PACENation and its members developed four policy recommendations for the Biden Administration and one recommendation for the new Congress. All of our ideas are designed to create jobs, address environmental injustice, and increase investment in building upgrades, especially in underserved communities. I’m delighted to share that two of our ideas have already been highlighted by THE CLEEN Project and its 80 person advisory board as among the best of the best.

Here are PACENation’s five policy recommendations, along with links to where you can learn more. Please share the attachments with your contacts in Congress and the Biden Administration.

Thank you so much for your time and support!

Our policy recommendation for Congress, which can be passed under Budget Reconciliation:


1. Amend and Enact the SHELTER Act to Establish an Investment Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency and Resilience Against Extreme Weather

Summary: Proposes to amend the SHELTER Act to remove the incentive cap, include more allowable retrofit measures, and ease restrictions for eligibility. Investments into resilience retrofits would save lives, save money, reduce carbon emissions and potentially create millions of jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Details here. PACENation’s letter to Congress here.

Note: This idea was highlighted by the CLEEN Project on February 23, 2021


Our policy recommendations for the Biden Administration (no Congressional action needed!):

2. Issue an Executive Order to Accelerate Commercial PACE (C-PACE) Investment in Multifamily and Healthcare Sectors

Summary: Proposes that all relevant agencies should issue new and updated C-PACE guidance to facilitate more than $100 billion in private investment in multifamily housing and long-term care facilities, where high energy costs disproportionately impact low-income communities of color. The total potential is more than $600 billion in private investment across all sectors.

Details here. A sample copy of our letter to the Biden Transition team here.

Note: This idea was highlighted by The CLEEN Project on March 3, 2021.


3. Establish a National “Opt-in” Climate Infrastructure Bank

Summary: Proposes that the Biden Administration establish a fully-capitalized national climate infrastructure bank with enormous financing capacity and flexibility, without passing any new legislation. The Clean Water Act allows Clean Water State Revolving Funds, which exist in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, to work together on shared priorities. The states involved do not have to be contiguous. Consequently, it is possible for states that choose to use their CWSRFs to support initiatives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, namely energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicle charging and more, to form a national, opt-in, climate infrastructure bank. Such a bank would be fully capitalized on day one, with far broader authorities than most state “green banks” have today. This new climate infrastructure bank would have the ability to finance tens of billions of dollars in low-carbon infrastructure.

Details here. Full white paper here.


4. The Healthy Home Loan Program: A Clean Energy and Clean Drinking Water Financing Program for Low-Income Homeowners

Summary: Proposes that the Biden Administration should provide clear guidance to Governors on how they can establish Healthy Home Loan Programs under existing authority, without the need for new legislation. The Healthy Home Loan Program would provide access to ultra-low-cost capital to millions of low-income homeowners via the Clean Water State Revolving Funds, which contains billions of dollars of available funding. Such a program would have significant job creation, environmental, and equity benefits.

Details here. Full white paper here.


5. The Fulbright Climate Specialist Program

Summary: Proposes that the Biden Administration should establish the Fulbright Climate Specialist Program, within the existing Fulbright Specialist Program, under the State Department’s existing authority and within its existing budget. In doing so, the Biden Administration could address a key barrier that slows the global adoption of effective policies (like PACE!) and technologies that reduce carbon emissions. The shine of the Fulbright program, along with very small grants, would foster greater collaboration among professionals across the globe who are working to combat climate change.

Details here. Sample outcomes memo here, which describes how Bert Hunter, David Gabrielson and I introduced PACE to South Africa.