For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bhartl@biologicaldiversity.org

75 Groups Call for Reforms to Climate-killing Export-Import Bank

WASHINGTON - More than 75 conservation groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, today called on Congress to curb the Export-Import Bank’s funding of dangerous fossil fuel projects. The request follows legislation introduced last week by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to reauthorize the bank.

Over the past 12 years, the bank has provided funding for more than 160 fossil fuel infrastructure projects, including coal, oil and gas power plants, mines and pipelines. Many of these projects have devastated UNESCO World Heritage sites and harmed endangered wildlife around the world.

“Every coal power plant the Export-Import Bank props up brings us that much closer to climate catastrophe. This bank needs fundamental reform now,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center. “The bank should focus on spreading renewable energy around the world instead of funding dirty fossil fuels.”

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The letter requests that Congress phase out the bank’s funding of fossil fuel projects as quickly as possible. It also recommends that Congress require the bank to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act to improve transparency and ensure that the public can provide meaningful input on bank proposals. Finally, the letter recommends that the bank comply with the Endangered Species Act and not approve projects that harm endangered wildlife.

Under Waters’ bill just 5 percent of the bank’s loans each year would be allocated to renewable energy projects — less than what the bank has done in the past 12 years. Waters is chair of the House Financial Services Committee.

The Export-Import Bank is fully funded by American taxpayers, but the bank does not comply with most U.S. environmental laws and provides no real opportunity for the public to offer input on the projects it considers funding.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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