Blumenauer and Senator Markey Lead Colleagues in Urging President Biden to End Financing for New Fossil Fuel Projects Overseas

May 19, 2021
Press Release

Today, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) led their colleagues in a bicameral letter to President Biden encouraging him to take the historic step of ending U.S. public financing support for fossil fuel projects overseas within 90 days. This step would help grow the demand for American-made clean energy products and align the United States with similar actions taken by our closest allies.

The letter comes as the International Energy Agency warned on Tuesday that investors should not fund new oil, gas and coal supply projects if the world wants to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

“With U.S. leadership on international clean energy investments, we can stop financing the climate crisis, support domestic clean energy jobs, and join the global community in moving away from fossil fuel investments,” said the lawmakers in their letter. “By ending our support for new overseas fossil fuel financing, we can join our allies and the private industry by investing in a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future.”

In March 2021, the United Kingdom announced its intention to shift away from supporting fossil fuel projects overseas, and the European Investment Bank — the world’s largest multilateral lender — announced it too will end virtually all support for oil, gas, and coal by the end of 2021. Many private investment banks have followed suit. From 2016 to 2020, nearly half of the world’s 60 largest banks decreased their fossil fuel investment exposure, with some divesting fully.

The letter encourages U.S. foreign assistance programs to incorporate adequate support for low-income countries dependent on fossil fuel exports, and workers and communities dependent on fossil fuels for their livelihoods and local economic base, to ensure a just and orderly transition away from fossil fuels. This includes support for capacity building, technical assistance, and training in the use and adoption of green technologies, which offers new opportunities for a more equitable and inclusive energy industry of the future.

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragan (CA-44), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) have also signed the letter.

A PDF copy of the letter can be found here.