Congress to Intervene in the PACE Saga?
California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s lawsuit against the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for its stance on the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program may be moot if Congress can act to force FHFA to back down. Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) has now introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would bar FHFA and Fannie and Freddie from “discriminat[ing] against communities implementing or participating in a PACE program, including by prohibiting lending within the community or requiring more restrictive underwriting criteria for properties within the community.” The legislation has 29 cosponsors. I’m particularly curious to see where Republicans will line up on this issue. On the one hand, it’s a government program that benefits the environment, and of course that’s bad. On the other hand, the programs don’t involve taxpayer funding, are completely voluntary, save homeowners on their energy bills, and have boosted private sector employment in their communities. It just may be enough to make Joe Barton’s head explode.
Ethan Elkind is the Director of the Climate Change and Business Program, with a joint appointment at UC Berkeley School of Law and UCLA School of Law. In this capacity, h…READ more