The Worst Kind of Government Waste: Promoting Climate Change

You are probably aware of US government fossil fuel hands out ten billion dollars a year to fossil fuel companies. In addition, we also subsidize international fossil fuel projects through the Export-Import Bank.

Far worse than simple corporate subsidy waste, though, is when we hand out money to companies to do things that actively harm us. One of the worst examples of this right now is the federal government, through the Export-Import Bank, is directly subsidizing overseas carbon-vomiting coal production. Because Ex-Im is handing out money to extract coal in places like Australia, this doesn't even create American jobs. Meanwhile, it is going to contribute dramatically to over-heating the planet even faster. It is an obscenity that our government is doing this.

The Export-Import Bank, which backs loans to boost U.S. exports abroad, has financed a number of coal projects in the past few years. And this support is growing: Funding for fossil fuel projects has shot up from just under $3 million in fiscal year 2009 to $9.6 billion in 2012. Loans for renewable energy, meanwhile, have barely moved an inch.

This inconsistency between the administration's stated goals and the reality of the Export-Import Bank's actions should be alarming to taxpayers. The Bank should be helping American businesses export their goods abroad -- not subsidizing projects that hurt the environment and do almost nothing for American workers. [emphasis mine]

How are we not suicidal? Headed for Climate Departure in 35 years with business as usual, which means destroying the habitability of our country for the next 100,000 years, the very least we could do is to STOP funding fossil fuel extraction. When we look back 35 years from now from our new wild weather world, hungry, dying from heat, and sick from tropical diseases, how will we justify this to ourselves?

It's like we're standing in a pool of gasoline and the best thing we can think to do about it is to strike a match.

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Good news!

US ends most financing of overseas coal projects

The United States said Tuesday it would end most financing of coal projects overseas, taking a potentially significant step to curbing carbon emissions blamed for climate change.

The decision puts into action a pledge in June by President Barack Obama to pursue more climate-friendly development policies. The World Bank, where the United States holds the most voting power, also stated after Obama's pledge that it would stop most financing for coal, among the dirtiest forms of energy.

The Treasury Department said it would end support for coal plants by the World Bank and other international development institutions unless the projects involve new carbon-capture measures or if there is no other economically feasible option in one of the world's poorest countries.




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