Two environmental groups and the city of Boulder, Colo.,
plan to file a lawsuit today charging two federal
agencies with contributing to climate change through
their financing policies.
Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the city said they
are filing the suit in U.S. District Court in San
Francisco on behalf of "members and citizens who are
victims of global warming." The action is against the
Export-Import Bank, an independent federal agency that
helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, and the Overseas
Private Investment Corp., which provides government-
backed insurance and loans to help U.S. businesses
compete in emerging markets.
A statement from Friends of the Earth said that the two
agencies provided "over $32 billion in financing and
insurance for oil fields, pipelines and coal-fired power
plants over the past 10 years without assessing their
contribution to global warming and their impact on the
U.S. environment." The groups said such assessments are
required by law.
Boulder's city council voted to join the lawsuit. Mayor
Will Toor said the city's environmental efforts will be
hurt by climate change and called the suit "one way to
force the federal government to start paying attention."
OPIC spokesman Lawrence Spinelli said the
agency "considers protecting the environment to be a top
priority as we decide which projects to support."
The Export-Import Bank spokesman Bo Ollison said the
bank is committed to procedures to "ensure that our
support of transactions is not used for environmentally
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