House approves EXIM reauthorization that allows uninhibited support for climate polluting projects
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today voted to approve the United States Export Finance Agency Act of 2019, putting the chamber’s stamp of approval on a 10-year reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM)—the U.S. Government’s largest source of public financing for overseas fossil fuel projects.
Despite efforts by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), today’s bill contains no provisions that would limit EXIM’s fossil fuel financing. The board of EXIM voted at the end of September to provide a $5 billion loan to a liquefied natural gas project in northern Mozambique that will be disastrous for the climate and local communities.
Absent curbs on fossil fuel financing, EXIM reauthorization will result in billions of dollars annually in federal subsidies for projects like Mozambique LNG. Further, the bill contains multiple provisions that are redundant with already existing policies and practices at EXIM, such as the establishment of a renewable energy office that already exists.
In response to today’s vote, Kate DeAngelis, senior international policy analyst at Friends of the Earth, issued the following statement:
Reauthorization of the EXIM Bank pushes our planet deeper into climate catastrophe. Despite the climate emergency, Congress is giving EXIM a green light to provide billions of dollars annually for heavily polluting fossil fuel projects. It’s outrageous that House Democrats are failing the test of climate leadership by locking EXIM into a decade of climate-damaging fossil fuel financing.
Environmentalists will remember that Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) played the industry stooge by sabotaging the plan to curb EXIM’s financing of fossil fuel mega-projects. Rep. Casten’s vacuous amendment fails to even mention, much less limit, financing for fossil fuels. We thank genuine climate champions like Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez for their efforts to stem EXIM’s climate pollution.
As the reauthorization moves to the Senate, our fight against the Bank’s fossil fuel agenda is not over. We hope Senators will have more foresight and will ensure that EXIM’s exacerbation of the climate crisis is finally brought to a full and complete stop.