Congress reauthorizes Ex-Im Bank without needed reforms
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress reauthorized the U.S. Export Import Bank as an attachment to an unrelated transportation bill. Ex-Im Bank’s authority lapsed July 1 after Congress failed to pass a reauthorization bill. The reauthorization language lacked any comprehensive reforms necessary to protect environmental and human rights and to protect the U.S. government from undue project risks.
In recent years Ex-Im Bank has financed billions of dollars in harmful fossil fuel projects that have worsened climate change and led to environmental destruction, human rights abuses and even death. For example, a recent investigative report revealed that the Ex-Im Bank funded Sasan coal project in India has resulted in 19 deaths to date. Other examples include two massive liquefied natural gas projects being built inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, which the UN has found to have damaged the world-class marine ecosystem reserve.
Friends of the Earth International Policy Analyst Kate DeAngelis offered the following response:
Congress has missed a huge opportunity to make crucial reforms to the Ex-Im Bank. Ex-Im Bank continues to shirk transparency requirements and otherwise fails to comply with environmental and social safeguards required by its charter. In addition, the Bank lacks effective mechanisms to allow impacted communities to voice complaints about and hold the Bank accountable for transgressions that repeatedly occur at projects the Bank finances.