Global Warming Victims Sue the United States for Illegally Funding Fossil Fuel Projects
Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, and City of Boulder Team Up to Bring Suit
WASHINGTON - August 27, 2002 - Friends of the Earth (FoE), Greenpeace and the City of Boulder, Colorado filed a lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of their members and citizens who are victims of global warming. The suit has been filed against two U.S. government agencies - the Export Import Bank (ExIm) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Ex-Im and OPIC are taxpayer funded agencies that provide financing and loans to U.S. corporations for overseas projects that commercial banks deem too risky.
This legal action - the first of its kind - alleges that OPIC and Ex-Im illegally provided over $32 billion in financing and insurance for oil fields, pipelines and coal-fired power plants over the past ten years without assessing their contribution to global warming and their impact on the U.S. environment as required under key provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA requires all federal agencies to conduct an environmental assessment of programs and project-specific decisions having a significant effect on the human environment; however, according to the complaint, OPIC and ExIm have refused to review their programs' and fossil fuel projects' contributions to global warming under NEPA.
FoE and Greenpeace members involved in the suit include a North Carolina couple who fear their retirement property will be lost to storm surges, erosion and the rising sea level; one of the largest maple syrup producers in Vermont who believes his business will be ruined as maple trees
disappear from the area; and a marine biologist whose life's work is in jeopardy because coral reefs he has spent a lifetime studying and enjoying are disappearing at an alarming rate due to bleaching from rising ocean temperatures.