The April 9 editorial “Impasse over the Ex-Im” missed the boat on the Export-Import Bank’s congressionally mandated renewable-
energy target — and the tremendous opportunity that clean-energy exports pose for the U.S. economy.
Clean energy is a $260 billion global industry whose exports create far more jobs per dollar invested than do investments in traditional fossil fuels. If institutions such as the Ex-Im Bank fail to ensure American business opportunities in this fast-growing market, our competitiveness, along with our environment, will be directly threatened.
Unfortunately, however, Ex-Im has ignored its renewables requirement for decades, with no penalty. To date, the highest portion of its portfolio dedicated to this important sector was less than 1 percent. The bank also provides more fossil fuel financing than any federal source, including loans for the world’s largest and most polluting coal-fired power plants, in India and South Africa. This is a catastrophe for the climate, our economy and our jobs.
The Obama administration has called for an end to wasteful fossil fuel subsidies. If anything, Congress must justify the Ex-Im Bank’s existence as a modern economic institution by ditching fossil fuel finance and increasing the renewable-energy requirement along with penalties for noncompliance.
Justin Guay, Washington
The writer is Washington representative of the Sierra Club International Climate Program.