EXIM Fuels Financing for Bahrain Fossil Fuel Expansion

Export-Import Bank Fuels Financing for Bahrain Fossil Fuel Expansion

WASHINGTON – Today the board of directors at the United States Export-Import Bank voted to approve financing for fossil fuel expansion in Bahrain, greenlighting $500 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars. This decision, which would expand drilling for oil and gas wells, comes after resignations from climate advisors who were shut out of project evaluations and deliberations. EXIM also failed to disclose the project funding amount before the board approved it, despite pressure from civil society and environmental groups and questions from members of Congress.  

EXIM is also considering funding a gas project in Guyana and liquefied natural gas in Papua New Guinea, over objections from climate activists and concerns with company practices. The approval for Bahrain fossil fuels comes weeks after President Biden paused domestic LNG export permit approvals while the administration studies the climate impact of fossil gas exports, which affect global fossil fuel emissions.  

Earlier this year Friends of the Earth United States and partners sent an open letter to EXIM, asking the bank to halt a financing agreement of $400 million to Trafigura, which was approved in July 2023. This letter questions EXIM’s due process in analyzing loan recipients and its method of reconsideration when climate assessments are inadequate, and when financing recipients are charged with corruption. 

In 2023 the institution funded nearly $1 billion for overseas and domestic oil and gas development, violating President Biden’s 2021 Executive Order. 

Kate DeAngelis, Senior Program Manager of International Finance for Friends of the Earth, said this: 

By unashamedly financing overseas fossil fuels in Bahrain and elsewhere, the U.S. Export-Import Bank is gambling with the planet and with people’s lives. This is unquestionably an irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars, yet EXIM will not let anything stand in its way. Even with the White House watching, this institution is willing to uphold and protect extractive industries rather than spending our tax dollars responsibly.   

Communications contact: Brittany Miller, [email protected], (202) 222-0746

Related News Releases