GREEN GROUPS SUE
U.S. AGENCIES OVER
Environmental groups filed a lawsuit this week against two U.S. government agencies for financing the overseas projects of American energy firms while ignoring the effects those deals have on global warming and the environment.
The lawsuit claims the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, or OPIC, illegally provided $32 billion in financing and insurance over 10 years to develop oil fields and build pipelines and coal-fired power plants.
The environmental groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth argued in their lawsuit that the Ex-Im Bank and OPIC failed to follow federal law that required the agencies to assess the environmental impacts of the projects for which they provided financial backing.
The city of Boulder, Colorado also joined in the lawsuit against the two agencies that was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Officials from both agencies could not immediately be reached for comment.
Power plants and oil refineries are the among the biggest producers of greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists believe are the cause of rising global temperatures.
The parties said the purpose of the lawsuit was to compel the Bush administration to take action against global warming.
"All of the work that the city of Boulder does to maintain the quality of life for our residents will be negatively impacted by the detrimental effects of climate change," said Boulder Mayor Will Toor.
"We believe that this lawsuit is one way to force the federal government to start paying attention to this critical issue," he said.
President George W. Bush withdrew the United States last year from the international Kyoto treaty that seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Bush administration feared the treaty would hurt the U.S. economy, and instead promoted voluntary efforts among American energy firms to cut their emissions.
Reuters News Service
Greenpeace Sues the U.S. Government on Behalf of Members Impacted by Global Warming
U.S. In Violation of Federal Environmental Law
Global warming is the largest environmental threat we face. The United States is currently the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, the main cause of global warming. Greenpeace has determined that legal action is necessary to persuade the Bush Administration to take meaningful action on global warming.
Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and the City of Boulder Colorado are representing their members in a lawsuit against the United States government. The plaintiffs (who are members of Greenpeace and Friends of the EArth, and U.S. citizens) are victims of global warming, and claim that the government's use of tax dollars to fund dirty fossil fuel projects is what is driving global warming around the world.
The suit charges that the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) two governmental agencies, financed dozens of fossil fuel projects that significantly contribute to global warming, in violation of federal environmental law. By bringing on the lawsuit, the plaintiffs want to force OPIC and EX-Im to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires all federally funded agencies to conduct an environmental review of programs and project-specific decisions having a significant effect on the environment.
Your Tax Dollars at Work
Instead of funding renewable energy solutions to global warming, federal agencies like the Ex-IM and OPIC are funneling taxpayer dollars to increase the profits of corporate polluters such as ExxonMobil who is the #1 corporate villain on global warming.
With millions of dollars of financial assistance from Ex-Im and OPIC, ExxonMobil, in partnership with Chevron, is constructing an oil pipeline from Chad to Cameroon in Central Africa that will result in 445.9 million tons of CO2 emissions during its anticipated life. The oil extracted from Chad will be shipped from the coast of Cameroon to international markets including the United States.
Ex-Im and OPIC did not comply with NEPA before deciding to finance this project.
Written by: Greenpeace USA
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