US Agency Rejects Financing For
Destructive Gas Project in Peru's Amazon
August 28, 2003, Washington (US) - Under
intense pressure from environmental and human
rights groups and members of Congress, today
the board of directors of the Export-Import
Bank (Ex-Im) of the United States voted to
reject financing for the controversial $1.6
billion Camisea Gas Project in Peru. The
Ex-Im loan would have provided $213 million
for the venture led by Hunt Oil and
PlusPetrol. Ray Hunt, Chairman of Hunt Oil,
is a Bush Pioneer Fundraiser raising $100,000
for the 2000 Presidential elections.
"Two Ex-Im Board members displayed courage
and environmental leadership in the face of
considerable pressure," said Jon Sohn,
international campaigner for Friends of the
Earth. "Friends of the Earth applauds Ex-Im's
decision to deny U.S. taxpayer support of
Camisea and the massive environmental
destruction it would cause."
Camisea is already scarring the Peruvian
Amazon and affecting the Nahua-Kugapakori
Reserve-home to previously uncontacted and
isolated indigenous populations. Groups are
also concerned about an export terminal for
Camisea that will also be built in the Buffer
Zone of the Paracas National Marine Reserve,
Peru's only marine sanctuary for endangered
birds and mammals.
Recently a letter was sent from 13 U.S.
senators to the U.S. Treasury Secretary - the
agency that directs U.S. voting decisions at
the Inter-American Development Bank - and the
head of the Ex-Im. The letter opposes public
support for Camisea at this time, and echoes
the concerns of House Democratic Leader Nancy
Pelosi (D-Calif.), who also sent a
The key issue at Ex-Im was the refusal of
the Peruvian government and companies
involved to loosen 2004 gas delivery
deadlines to avoid a continuing pattern of
negative, irreversible environmental and
social impacts. The Inter-American
Development Bank is slated to take up the
project next week and the position of the
U.S. board will determine approvals at that
"We hope this sends a signal to export
credit agencies in Europe that the U.S.
government is committed to international
environmental standards," said Sohn.
For more information please contact in
Jon Sohn, Friends of the Earth:
+1- 202- 412-2467 or +1-202- 783-7400 ext.
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