Rule change would shift financial risks on to U.S. taxpayers and threaten development goals
Washington (July 10, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today sent a letter to the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to press for answers on an impending rule change that would allow DFC to finance nuclear energy projects around the world – a break from longstanding precedent. At the same time that DFC is being stretched thin in its first year of operation and is being asked to tackle causes as disparate as Afghanistan reconstruction and domestic pandemic response, the current proposal would take money away from important development work, including more cost-effective alternatives to fossil-fuel projects. In their letter, Senators Markey and Sanders argue that financing of high-risk projects abroad – involving technologies that haven’t been commercially successful even in developed economies – would exceed the DFC’s mandate and require additional oversight and due diligence in areas of expertise the DFC lacks.
“International nuclear power projects described by DFC are not a cost-competitive form of zero-carbon energy, remain unproven, will divert funds from higher-priority low-income countries, and are not supported by other development banks,” write the Senators in the letter to CEO Adam Boehler. “DFC financing of overseas nuclear reactors may offshore the physical risks associated nuclear power, but they would keep U.S. taxpayers on the hook for the steep financial ones.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
In the letter, the Senators ask for responses to questions that include: