Support the PACE Protection Act of 2010

Cities and counties throughout the U.S. are developing new finance programs that help Americans install renewable energy and water conservation systems and improve the efficiency of their homes and businesses. Called Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), these programs enable local governments bring new green jobs, energy bill savings, and environmental benefits to their communities.  
Now the lending giants at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and their regulators at FHFA are trying to stop these programs in their tracks. They're attacking a century-old local government right and throwing a massive wrench in American green job growth and investment. It's time for legislative action. 
Will you urge your representatives in Congress to support legislation that will put PACE- and our nation's economy- back on track?  
As your constituent, I am asking for your support of federal legislation that protects Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing programs. While many are banking on the emerging green economy, in this economy few residential and commercial property owners have the upfront capital to invest in retrofitting their homes or buildings to take advantage of the advances in clean energy technologies and the cost savings obtained from those improvements. PACE programs help to overcome that obstacle and promises to stimulate local economies. These programs provide an innovative, no-taxpayer subsidy approach to financing those individual clean energy projects on a large scale.

Over the last two years, twenty three states passed legislation authorizing local governments to create these financing districts. But even as municipalities began creating their own PACE programs, federal regulators were working to undermine the entire industry. PACE officials have consistently addressed concerns from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, since questions were first raised over a year ago. However, without acknowledging the responses to the concerns of federal regulators and the addition of increased lender protections, FHFA issued a statement on July 6th that blocked PACE financing for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac homeowners, and effectively shut down PACE programs nationwide.

With renewable energy and energy efficiency financing programs shelved, our nation's economy continues to suffer from high unemployment, a shaky housing market and an unsustainable dependence on fossil fuels and foreign sources of energy. PACE programs provide much needed jobs, decrease our energy use and have been demonstrated a lower risk of mortgage default.  And unlike many federal programs enacted to shore up our national institutions and our economy, PACE financing is provided by capital investment or municipal bonds, designed to achieve more in economic relief than the cost of the improvements, and are voluntary for participants. PACE provides the solution to our country's economic and energy woes, which is why this finance model was named one of the top ten "Breakthrough Ideas for 2010" by the Harvard Business Review.

Americans consumers, businesses and local governments are watching and waiting. It is crucial that our elected officials act immediately to stop this federal over-reach and ensure that Property Assessed Clean Energy programs are allowed to continue.  That is why I am asking you to co-sponsor legislation that restores the promise of PACE financing by guaranteeing the right of state and local governments to form special assessment districts to promote clean energy programs. It's time for our Congress to act quickly to get PACE- and America- back on the move.
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