Biden Pledged To Stop Funding Fossil Fuels Overseas. ExIm Bank Does Anyway

"In 2021, the Biden administration told federal agencies to stop funding many new fossil fuel projects abroad. The directive went out shortly after a United Nations climate change summit in Glasgow, Scotland, where the United States and other countries pledged to cut off public support for overseas fossil fuel projects that freely emit greenhouse gas pollution. But now, leaders of America's Export-Import Bank have decided to lend nearly $100 million for the expansion of an oil refinery in Indonesia.

At a closed-door meeting Thursday, the bank's board of directors voted to back a project that will help Indonesia's national oil company increase production at its Balikpapan refinery.

Friends of the Earth, an environmental group, says the funding "directly violates" commitments the Biden administration made to end federal support for fossil-fuel projects in other countries.

"If we have this free-wheeling agent, then they're not answerable to the people, and they're basically using U.S. taxpayer dollars without any consequence or oversight," says Kate DeAngelis, who works on international finance at Friends of the Earth. "And that seems like it shouldn't be allowed within the U.S. government.""

Michael Copley reports for NPR May 12, 2023.

Source: NPR, 05/15/2023