Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) introduced the Standing Against Dirty Diplomacy (SADD) Act to block U.S. financing of fossil fuel projects abroad, in conjunction with the House Financial Services Committee’s vote to reauthorize the United States Export-Import Bank. The new legislation will deliver bold solutions that were missing from this week’s committee reauthorization vote and would prevent the Export-Import Bank—one of the world’s largest sources of public financing for fossil fuel projects—from exporting a dirty energy agenda.
“The president is a known climate-change denier and embroiled in countless scandals that center on putting big corporations and foreign governments first. If we want to fight the climate crisis, we need to ensure the government is working for a sustainable future – not dumping billions of American taxpayer dollars into dirty energy infrastructure abroad,” said Rep. Huffman. “The Export-Import Bank fuels the dirty energy diplomacy coming out of the White House, but Congress can and must take action. This legislation will get America back on track in the global effort to cut carbon pollution.”
“My district is one of the most polluted in this country and is suffering from years of inaction on the issue of climate change that we cannot and will not ever be able to get back,” said Rep. Tlaib. “The SADD Act is a unique opportunity to take a firm stance against the corporate greed that allows destructive fossil fuel financing abroad to proliferate with the empty promise that it will provide American jobs. We do not need to destroy the environment in order to have quality jobs—that’s what investing in clean, renewable energy will do.”
“Friends of the Earth U.S. proudly endorses the SADD Act, and we thank Rep. Huffman for his leadership on environmental issues. As the world faces climate crisis, Rep. Huffman’s bill fundamentally understands the global urgency of putting an end to the U.S. government’s massive financing for overseas fossil fuel projects,” said Kate DeAngelis, Senior International Policy Analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Government agencies like the U.S. Export-Import Bank have provided billions of dollars every year to dirty energy projects that destroy communities and wreak havoc on the climate. The SADD Act would put an end to that destruction and send a signal to other countries to do the same.”
Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has provided around $34 billion in financing for coal-fired power plants globally—all backed by American policy. In September 2019 the Bank approved a $5 billion direct loan for the development of a liquefied natural gas project in Mozambique. Additionally, in September 2019 the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) approved funding for fracking operations in Argentina. In 2017, OPIC committed $250 million for a natural gas project in Jordan, which is expected to emit the equivalent of 617,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The SADD Act would end all U.S. support for overseas dirty energy projects through the Export-Import Bank and OPIC.
Rep. Huffman also introduced this legislation in the 114th and 115th Congresses.