For Immediate Release
Today the House of Representatives passed an amendment filed by Reps Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) clarifying that funds used in a Department of Energy clean energy program cannot be used to support projects that do not decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
The Title XVII program is intended to provide loan guarantees for projects that “avoid, reduce or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.”
The Department of Energy is currently considering a $1.9 billion loan guarantee for the Appalachian Storage Hub, part of a massive petrochemical buildout in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia that will increase fracking and plastics production in the region.
In response to the House vote in support of the amendment, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter issued the following statement:
“Thanks to the leadership of Representatives Omar and Jayapal, the House has taken a firm stand to stop the Trump administration from using a clean energy program to support this plastics and fracking disaster. This storage hub would help create a cluster of gas, petrochemical and plastics infrastructure that would transform the region into the next Cancer Alley.
“Creating a massive petrochemical and plastics manufacturing cluster is the furthest thing from a clean energy vision. This Trump-approved scheme would expose Appalachian residents to increased harms from fracking and industrial toxic emissions, while increasing the plastic trash that is polluting our oceans.
“The plan would also tie this region to yet another boom and bust, extraction and exploitation fossil fuel industry instead of providing funding for industries that will create long term job growth such as manufacturing renewables.
“The House has made the right move to make sure that our clean energy programs actually promote clean energy, not plastics and fracking. It is now up to the Senate to make the same commitment to a truly clean energy future.”