Export-Import Bank Squeezes in Disastrous Freeport LNG Vote Before Close of 2023
WASHINGTON, DC — This week, the U.S. Export-Import Bank approved $90 million for marketing a Freeport liquified natural gas project in Texas. This decision comes after EXIM head Reta Jo Lewis touted the institution’s climate progress at COP28, yet in 2023 EXIM has approved nearly $1 billion for oil and gas projects overseas.
- Close to $100 million for an oil refinery in Indonesia
- $400 million for Trafigura to aid in US liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports
- $240 million for a gas project in Iraq
- $71 million for an oil tank project in the Bahamas
Earlier this month, Friends of the Earth filed a legal complaint through the OECD to launch inquiries into EXIM’s climate rationale for advancing fossil fuels, which increases the climate footprint of the United States. Advocates had the following reactions to the EXIM decision:
“It’s utterly galling that EXIM would even consider government support for a company owned by a billionaire who fails to employ enough workers to operate safely, destroys the climate, and literally exploded last year — which incidentally caused chaos in global gas markets,” said Jeffrey Jacoby, Deputy Director with Texas Campaign for the Environment.
“LNG exports harm America. Port towns in the Gulf South like Freeport, Texas are being inundated with methane gas projects that harm the ecosystem, displace residents, and deteriorate the quality of life,” said Kari Fulton, Senior Organizing Director with the Center for Oil and Gas Organizing. “Residents at the frontlines of Freeport LNG are pushing our federal government to stop the rush in LNG export authorizations. The Export-Import Bank should take heed and look at the long-term implications of investing in companies that are only here to ride a short-term market wave.”
“EXIM’s logic in supporting this project is baffling — why would they want to double down on this disastrous project?” said Kate DeAngelis, Senior International Finance Program Manager with Friends of the Earth. “Shortly after EXIM’s first round of support to Freeport LNG, the finance group involved collapsed and the project exploded. Yet EXIM seems willing to fund any fossil fuel project no matter how financially ruinous or harmful to workers, local communities, and the planet.”
“Two years ago, Joe Biden committed to end all public finance for fossil fuels. Instead, EXIM is doubling down and pouring millions more into an LNG facility that literally exploded last year,” said Collin Rees, United States Program Manager at Oil Change International. “EXIM’s funding for Freeport LNG comes just days after countries agreed at COP28 to transition away from fossil fuels, further emphasizing the gap between rhetoric and reality in phasing out oil, gas, and coal. Communities and the climate can’t afford EXIM’s deadly business-as-usual.”