Reps. Schiff, Israel Fight to Keep Green Export Provision in Foreign Aid Spending Bill

Washington, DC – With the news of China surpassing the United States in carbon dioxide emissions, U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Steve Israel (D-NY) will fight to maintain a provision they requested in the House Fiscal Year 2008 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill that will require that at least 10 percent of the Export-Import Bank’s (EX-IM) investments in energy projects be allocated for renewable energy projects.

“Our provision, could quadruple the amount of advanced energy we export through this program,” explained Congressman Israel, who also sits on the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee.  “With China surpassing the United States as the number one producer of carbon dioxide emissions, it is clear that there is a growing world market for American green exports.  Still, we’re lagging behind other countries in our production of renewable energy technologies.  Increasing our renewable energy exports creates jobs at home while improving our energy security.”

“While the United States and its allies in the developed world are cumulatively the greatest sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the developing world is catching up,” said Schiff.  “China is bringing a new coal-fired electrical plant on line every week.  India uses enormous amounts of very dirty coal and many other nations are doing the same.  It is in America’s national interest to help develop green technologies in the developing world.”

EX-IM established an Environmental Exports Program in 1994 and has financed a number of “green” projects.  Recently, EX-IM provided a loan guarantee for a $5.2 million sale of 55 air quality monitoring machines to China.  However, despite the growing demand worldwide for clean energy, fossil fuel projects still receive the vast majority of EX-IM’s support in the energy sector. The Israel-Schiff provision could result in an estimated $1 billion in additional green exports in 2008.