GR: These are huge projects that Obama has helped build at a time when the world should be cutting back on fossil-fuel use. The impact of the projects is massive. Through his approval of funding, Obama has contributed directly to the death of portions of the Great Barrier Reef and to human misery and disease in many areas. As I’ve speculated before, history may show that Obama was the worst environmental president we’ve ever had. It’s hard to determine how bad now because of the lack of transparency in his activities.
“Through the Export-Import Bank, the Obama administration has spent nearly $34bn on dirty energy plants in countries from India to Australia to South Africa
“Seemingly little connects a community in India plagued by toxic water, a looming air pollution crisis in South Africa and a new fracking boom that is pockmarking Australia. And yet there is a common thread: American taxpayer money.
“Through the US Export-Import Bank, Barack Obama’s administration has spent nearly $34bn supporting 70 fossil fuel projects around the world, work by Columbia Journalism School’s Energy and Environment Reporting Project and the Guardian has revealed.
How Obama’s climate change legacy is weakened by US investment in dirty fuel. (Read more)“
“This unprecedented backing of oil, coal and gas projects is an unexpected footnote to Obama’s own climate change legacy. The president has called global warming “terrifying” and helped broker the world’s first proper agreement to tackle it, yet his administration has poured money into developments that will push the planet even closer to climate disaster.
“For people living next to US-funded mines and power stations the impacts are even more starkly immediate.
“Guardian and Columbia reporters have spent time at American-backed projects in India, South Africa and Australia to document the sickness, upheavals and environmental harm that come with huge dirty fuel developments.
“In India, we heard complaints about coal ash blowing into villages, contaminated water and respiratory and stomach problems, all linked to a project that has had more than $650m in backing from the Obama administration.
“In South Africa, another huge project is set to exacerbate existing air pollution problems, deforestation and water shortages. And in Australia, an enormous US-backed gas development is linked to a glut of fracking activity that has divided communities and brought a new wave of industrialization next to the cherished Great Barrier Reef.
“While Obama can claim the US is the world’s leader on climate change – at least until Donald Trump enters the White House – it is also clear that it has become a major funder of fossil fuels that are having a serious impact upon people’s lives. This is the unexpected story of how Obama’s legacy is playing out overseas.” –Sonali Prasad, Jason Burke, Michal Slezak, and Oliver Milman.
Sasan ultra mega power project, Madhya Pradesh, India
“A hulking thermal power plant funded by American money shimmers in orange when night settles in India’s coal-rich district of Singrauli. A heavy blanket of smog wraps around the industrial district and its residents.” –Sonali Prasad. Continue reading (there’s lots more): Obama’s dirty secret: the fossil fuel projects the US littered around the world