Kirk-Heitkamp Bill discriminates against local communities and the environment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) introduced S. 819 to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank which includes a provision sought by Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that “prohibits the Bank from promulgating policies that discriminate against any type of energy source, or deny financing of an application, solely based on the industry involved in the application.” The Ex-Im Bank is a major federal trade finance agency that has funded billions of dollars in harmful fossil fuel projects. However, in 2013 Ex-Im Bank implemented President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by adopting restriction on financing for coal power plants abroad. The Manchin provision is an attempt to undermine this progress.
Friends of the Earth Economic policy program senior manager Doug Norlen issued the following statement:
The discrimination provisions are ironic because Ex-Im Bank financing for fossil fuel projects, especially coal, discriminates against typically poor communities by polluting air and water, harming human health, committing human rights abuses and fostering corruption. The Kirk-Heitkamp discriminates against the public good while lining the pockets of wealthy fossil fuel executives.
Note to editors: In stark contrast, Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank — similar a to bill introduced by House Financial Services Committee ranking member Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and 189 cosponsors, which does not include the pro-coal and fossil fuel language and instead increases environmental and social monitoring and transparency requirements.