Senate bill introduced to combat global energy poverty

March 29, 2021, 7:01AMNuclear News


Sen. John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), the ranking member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, earlier this month introduced legislation, the Combating Global Poverty Through Energy Development Act (S. 758), which aims at removing barriers put up by international financial institutions that limit support for both fossil fuel and nuclear energy projects.

“Developing countries desperately need affordable and reliable energy,” said Barrasso. “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.”

The bill is cosponsored by Sens. Cynthia Lummis (R., Wyo.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R., Miss.), Ted Cruz (R., Texas), John Hoeven (R., N.D.), Bill Hagerty (R., Tenn.), John Cornyn (R., Texas), and Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.).

Targets: Financial institutions covered by the bill include the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the lending arm of the World Bank Group), the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, the North American Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, and the Asian Development Bank.

What it would do: Among its provisions, S. 758 directs the U.S. executive director at each covered international financial institution to use the “voice, vote, and influence of the United States” to oppose prohibitions or restrictions on the financing of coal, oil, natural gas, and civil nuclear energy projects and to rescind existing ones.

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