House Votes Overwhelmingly Against Financing Nuclear Energy in China

House Votes Overwhelmingly Against Financing Nuclear Energy in China

Dick Bell, 202-222-0742
Elizabeth Bast, 202-222-0719

Washington , DC – Friends of the Earth applauded the House of Representatives for voting yesterday to prohibit the U.S. Export-Import Bank from financing nuclear power projects in China . The amendment to H.R. 3057, the Foreign Operation Appropriations Act of 2006, came in response to Export-Import Bank’s $5 billion preliminary commitment to Westinghouse Corporation for construction of four nuclear reactors in Zhejiang and Guangdong Provinces .

“It is the height of irresponsibility for the U.S. government to finance the construction of nuclear power plants in China ,” said Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth. “Given China ’s record on workplace safety and environmental protections, the operation of nuclear plants is an accident waiting to happen.”

“This vote shows strong resistance to using massive government subsidies to promote nuclear power and the serious security threat it poses,” said Blackwelder. “The nuclear industry cannot survive without subsidies. If building nuclear power plants in China was a sound financial decision, companies would be able to find funding from the private sector.”

“Financing nuclear power would continue the Export-Import Bank’s checkered history of funding highly risky and controversial energy projects instead of funding clean, safe, renewable energy,” said Elizabeth Bast, International Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth.

The amendment, sponsored by Reps. Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), Ron Paul (R-TX), and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), won on a broad, bipartisan basis 313 – 114.