America needs a cause, an uplifting and nonpartisan mission, which harnesses our courage, patriotism, innovation and willingness to sacrifice to build a better future for our kids. An American Moment: Share Your Vision
We are tired of rote partisanship and long for a defining cause greater than consumerism. We are in awe of and inspired by the World War II generation and the Civil Rights crusaders that came together, sacrificed and defeated common enemies and left a legacy of pride and prosperity for their children and grandchildren.
We need to declare our independence from oil, rebuild our industrial economy and reestablish our national prestige. We can do this with our own savings, and profit handsomely from the economic transformation.
The idea that I'm advocating, conceived together with my friend, H.B. Mertz, a small business owner from McMurray, Pennsylvania, is a special government bond like the war bonds issued during World War II. This time, the cause supported by the bonds would be Clean Energy.
The Renew America Bonds we propose are, in essence, 30-year, zero-coupon U.S. government bonds, with principal redeemable at maturity or convertible to a payout based on the long-term performance of America's clean energy economy. The Renew America bonds would be marketed like War bonds were in World War II, from the President, through Wall Street, down to the classrooms across America.
The proceeds of these bonds would be invested in the equity of companies that develop and commercialize new energy technology, through intermediaries like venture capital firms and new clean energy banks. The intermediaries would need to match the public investment, thus leveraging its impact.
Bondholders would have a direct economic stake (through the conversion feature) in the outcome of America's energy and industrial renewal which would be catalyzed by the bonds. Purchasing the bonds would be both an act of patriotism and of economic rationality. Productive investment of the bond proceeds would help fulfill our generational duty to leave this country, and the world, better than we found it.