Rep. Huffman Responds to Trump’s Paris Withdrawal; Introduces Standing Against Dirty Diplomacy (SADD) Act

June 07, 2017

Washington, D.C.- In response to President Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) today introduced the Standing Against Dirty Diplomacy (SADD) Act, legislation to reduce the United States’ global carbon pollution footprint and ensure that U.S. taxpayer funds are not used to promote a dirty energy agenda abroad. The legislation would prevent the United States Export-Import Bank—one of the world’s largest sources of public financing for fossil fuel projects—from financing polluting energy projects overseas.

Since 2009, the Export-Import Bank has provided around $34 billion in financing for coal-fired power plants around the world—all backed by American taxpayer dollars. Huffman’s bill would end all U.S. taxpayer subsidies for overseas dirty energy projects that do not meet the climate safeguards set by former President Obama. The legislation would also reverse a specific provision to the Export-Import Bank Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2015, added by the Republican congressional majority, that continues to finance dirty coal projects.

“President Trump’s hasty withdrawal from the Paris Agreement was a complete abdication of America’s leadership in the fight against carbon pollution and global climate change, allowing other nations to lead on clean energy investment while the United States lags behind” said Rep. Huffman. “The dirty energy diplomacy supported by our top diplomat and Trump cabinet officials is further eroded by an Export-Import Bank intent on investing in 19th century fuels. While some in Washington pursue a dirty energy agenda at home and abroad, Congress can still take action to reduce carbon pollution. The Standing Against Dirty Diplomacy Act will help get America back on the right track: building a clean energy future by cutting off the billions of dollars we are wasting on dirty coal boondoggles abroad.”

Export-Import financing for fossil fuel projects reached a record $9.6 billion in fiscal year 2012. In recent years, the Export-Import Bank has provided:

·         $900 million in financing for the 4,000 megawatt Sasan coal-fired power plant in India.

·         $800 million in financing for the 4,800 megawatt Kusile coal-fired power plant in South Africa. One recent report suggests that 35 new coal mines will be required to fuel this and South Africa’s other new coal power plants under construction.

Rep. Huffman also introduced this legislation in the 114th Congress.