Reckon-silly-whattt? Reconciliation, an arcane Senate procedure that allows for the passage of budget-related resolutions with only 51 votes in the Senate, is in the spotlight as Congress crafts an infrastructure bill that will deliver the economic and climate benefits needed in the U.S. right now.

Senator Chris Van Hollen, the green bank champion from day one, announced in the tweet below that the Accelerator had been included in the Senate budget plan.

Where do we go from here? Well, we’re still a ways away from the finish line, which is when President Biden signs a bill to fund the Accelerator, but we’re headed in the right direction.

The Senate will soon release the text of its budget resolution, hopefully including the Accelerator. This resolution will include instructions for certain committees to draft and report out legislative language.

This language will ideally fund the Accelerator, and then the full package of language will be put up for a vote in the Senate, where it will need 51 votes to pass and be sent to the House for consideration. Once passed there, it will be sent to the President to be signed into law.

Maine Legislature, Governor Launch State-Led Green Bank

Maine has joined the ranks of more than 20 states and cities across the country to implement a green bank.

Last month the State Legislature approved legislation to launch a state-led Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator that will be administered by the Efficiency Maine Trust. The bill was signed by Governor Janet Mills on June 23.

Maine is the most energy-intensive state in the Northeast. The Maine Climate Council has identified $325 million of backlogged infrastructure projects needed to mitigate climate change.

Maine’s Accelerator will leverage private, low-cost capital to support clean energy, climate resiliency, energy efficiency and clean transportation projects.

And the model works. The Connecticut Green Bank, for example, generates $7 of private investment for every $1 of public funding.

Like the national Accelerator now being advanced in Congress, Maine’s green bank will ensure at least 40% of funds be invested in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

“Maine and other states can only realize the full benefits of this policy with matching federal action and funding,” CGC Executive Director Jeff Schub said last month. “I hope the adoption of this wise state policy spurs the entire Maine congressional delegation to support the bipartisan national Clean Energy Accelerator as part of federal infrastructure legislation.”