On behalf of the Green Scissors campaign, a coalition of environmental, taxpayer and consumer groups, we urge you to support the Sanders (I-VT) – Hinchey (D-NY) amendment to H.R. 5522, the Fiscal Year 2007 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The Sanders – Hinchey amendment would prevent the Export – Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) from providing loans or loan guarantees for oil and gas development projects.
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has benefited from billions in taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees from Ex-Im. More than $2 billion of these handouts have underwritten Halliburton. And among other investments, Ex-Im has provided $200 million in financing to an oil pipeline in the West African countries of Chad and Cameroon—a project whose lead sponsors are ExxonMobil and Chevron. This project has raised such serious concerns about corruption that the World Bank temporarily suspended its support for the project earlier this year.
Arguments that these handouts somehow benefit the American economy by creating jobs fall flat: the largest beneficiary of Ex-Im’s oil and gas financing is Pemex, a Mexican-owned oil company. American taxpayer dollars should not be put at risk to support foreign-owned companies.
Taxpayers should not foot the bill for the overseas operations of the oil and gas industry, particularly at a time when these companies are recording record profits. Please vote yes on the Sanders – Hinchey amendment.
Sara Zdeb, Legislative Director, Friends of the Earth
Autumn Hanna, Program Director, Taxpayers for Common Sense
Anna Aurilio, Acting Director, U.S. Public Interest Research Group