Sens. Cruz, Barrasso, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Combat Global Energy Poverty
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) today introduced the Combating Global Poverty Through Energy Development Act, legislation eliminating prohibitions and restrictions at international financial institutions that limit support of traditional energy projects, including coal, natural gas, oil, and civil nuclear energy. Cosponsors of this bill include Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Upon introduction of this bill, Sen. Cruz said:
"I am a passionate champion of our vast energy resources, because whenever our energy sector is thriving, it drives the engine of an entire economy. I am proud to join Senator Barrasso on this bill to ensure that the Biden administration's hyper-partisan support of the Paris Agreement on the international stage doesn't interfere with the vital role that natural gas and nuclear energy play in creating good-paying jobs, boosting economies, and providing cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable energy across the globe."
Sen. Barrasso added:
"Developing countries desperately need affordable and reliable energy. Instead of using all available energy options, the World Bank would rather score political points by boycotting critical coal, oil and gas projects. The solution to ending energy poverty does not lie in limiting options. Our bill will encourage the World Bank to eliminate barriers to traditional energy resources, or risk losing American taxpayer funding."
On January 27, 2021, the Biden administration signed an executive order requiring the Secretary of Treasury to develop a strategy for how the voice and vote of the United States can be used in the international financial institutions, including the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, to promote financing aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. It also directs development of a plan to end international financing of carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy, which by its very nature, will hurt the poorest of the poor.
The Combating Global Poverty Through Energy Development Act:
- Requires the Secretary of Treasury to work with the Department of Energy, State Department, the Export-Import Bank, and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to identify ways to promote international financing of energy projects, including coal, oil, and natural gas, to help developing countries access affordable and reliable power.
- Directs the U.S. Executive Directors at each international financial institutions to use the voice, vote, and influence of the U.S. to oppose prohibitions on the financing of coal, oil, natural gas, and civil nuclear energy projects and to rescind existing ones.
- Instructs the U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank to immediately and vigorously eliminate the World Bank's restrictions on coal power generation, upstream oil and gas exploration and production, and nuclear energy projects.
- It cuts U.S. funding to the World Bank by 50% until the Secretary of Treasury certifies the World Bank has:
- Rescinded the rules, regulations, policies and guidelines prohibiting the financing of coal, oil, natural gas, or nuclear energy project; and
- Put into effect a policy to promote the financing of coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear energy.
Read the full text of the bill here.