Committee Leaders Question Effects of Climate Action Plan on Affordable Electricity for Developing Countries

December 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – Continuing the committee’s oversight of the president’s Climate Action Plan, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today wrote to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew regarding recently announced Treasury Department guidance seeking to end U.S. support for public financing of coal-fired power plants overseas, except in very limited circumstances.  

In the letter to Lew, Upton and Whitfield wrote, “These actions raise questions not only about whether the Treasury Department’s new climate policies comport with its duties and functions, but also the practical impact on U.S. international humanitarian goals, trade policies, and foreign commerce … Failure to assist these countries based on policies that the United States has not even established domestically for its own new plants raises questions about the administration’s priorities and whether its actions comport with the long-standing policy of the United States to assist developing nations rise out of poverty.  Just this week, press reports indicated that the United States actively opposed financing for a power plant project in Pakistan. … The United States reportedly opposed financing for this project because of its global climate change policy, not because of the needs of the Pakistani poor who may profoundly benefit from increased access to affordable, reliable electricity.

“We write to ask that you assist us in assessing whether the Treasury Department’s recent actions are consistent with its duties and functions and whether the agency has fully examined the humanitarian implications of its climate policy guidance.” The committee leaders are requesting responses to a series of questions regarding Treasury’s new climate guidance and its consequences by January 17, 2014.

To read the entire letter, click HERE.

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