U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Thursday introduced the Green Bank Act of 2016. The bill would create a national green bank to utilize public seed money to attract larger, private investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The first green bank in the country, Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), was founded in 2011. Since then, Connecticut Green Bank has leveraged more than $800 million in clean energy business investments, created the equivalent of more than 12,000 jobs, and reduced approximately 1.4 million tons of CO2 emissions over the lifetime of its financed projects.

“Connecticut launched the first-ever green bank five years ago, and it’s attracted over $800 million in clean energy investments,” said Murphy. “Green banks are an example of how the government and private industry should work together—saving customers money and creating good jobs, all while helping the environment.”

“Connecticut’s groundbreaking Green Bank has led the nation in leveraging investment in clean energy projects that mean lower energy costs for consumers, increased job opportunities for hard-working Americans, and new technology that protects and preserves our natural resources. This common-sense measure will build on the successes of state green energy banks like Connecticut’s to create a win-win for our country: strengthening America’s economy and securing our clean energy future,” said Blumenthal.

“As we’ve seen in Rhode Island, green banks boost investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. That means more jobs and economic growth, greater energy savings for consumers, and less of the carbon pollution driving climate change,” said Whitehouse.

Companion legislation, HR. 5802, was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Jim Himes (D-Conn.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.).