Senate Confirmation of Export-Import Bank Directors Means Billions More Dollars in Federal Fossil Fuel Financing

(Friends of the Earth, Washington, 8 May 2019) The U.S. Senate today voted to confirm 3 nominees to the Board of Directors of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. The confirmation allows Ex-Im to establish a board quorum, clearing the way for the bank to revive its financing of billions of dollars in fossil fuel projects abroad. After nearly four years without full authority to operate, today’s Senate vote paves the way for 12 fossil fuel projects in the agency’s queue to progress forward to a board vote — with many more applications for financing likely to come. These dirty projects will result in tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere annually. “By approving these new directors, the Senate is letting the Export-Import Bank fuel the crisis of climate change,” said Doug Norlen, economic policy program director at Friends of the Earth. “The bank will return to its past practice of supporting projects that damage the global climate, harm community health, violate human rights and hasten corruption. Rather than addressing the threat of climate change proactively, this is a vote to make the Export-Import Bank Trump’s billion-dollar fossil fuel slush fund.” Two Presidential Candidates have now said they want Ex-Im Bank's fossil fuel financing halted.  Sen. Bernie Sanders voted against Trump's nominees and is quoted in this article saying Ex-Im “should not be providing low-interest loans and loan guarantees to big fossil fuel companies that are endangering the planet.”  And, Washington State Governor and Presidential Candidate Jay Inslee just released his Evergreen Economy for America Plan which pledges "to cease all support for new fossil energy projects" by Ex-Im Bank and OPIC. Ex-Im's Congressional authorization expires Sept. 30, so the fight is brewing again!