Export Bank’s Aid to Coal Curbed Under Obama Overseas Pledge

(Bloomberg, Washington, 25 June 2013) President Barack Obama pledged to end U.S. government financing of overseas coal projects, a promise that could end millions of dollars in support for power plants in nations such as Vietnam and India. As part of a “Climate Action Plan” released today, Obama called for ending U.S. support of foreign coal-fired power plants, unless they are in the poorest nations or have expensive carbon-capture technology. “This is an important move to stand up and say, ‘Coal is not an acceptable fuel source for the 21st century,’” Justin Guay, a Washington representative for the Sierra Club, said in an interview. “It’s a really strong political signal.” ... Until now, Obama’s push to double exports of U.S. goods and services had conflicted with his environmental goal of reducing the greenhouse gases linked to climate change, as the U.S.- backed Export-Import Bank had expanded financing that, by its own accounting, led to more and more greenhouse-gas emissions. Other NGOs and environmental groups have said Obama's policies don't go far enough.