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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS EXPORTS OF U.S. NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY

Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Hears of Environmental Exports

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 22, 1997

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

Washington, D.C.: Members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources today heard testimony from a senior official of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) in support of continued government financing to assist the American natural gas industry in exporting its environmentally beneficial products.

Ex-Im Bank Director and Chief Operating Officer Julie Belaga told the Senate committee members that U.S. companies that produce natural gas equipment and services have unsurpassed environmental technology but need financing from Ex-Im Bank in order to compete with foreign companies supported by their own governments.

Natural gas is a clean and cheap fossil fuel, and we are proud to support these environmentally beneficial exports, Belaga said. We operate in developing countries where commercial banks do not or where there is competition backed by foreign governments. We see real competitive value in a government program such as Ex-Im Bank that provides critically needed financing to help exporters succeed in these promising markets.

Part of Ex-Im Bank`s congressional mandate is to support U.S. environmentally beneficial exports. The Bank assists the U.S. natural gas industry by financing exports of technology, equipment, and services to expand natural gas production facilities abroad, and financing exports of electricity generation equipment fueled by natural gas. In the past several years, Ex-Im Bank has assisted in financing these exports to emerging markets that include Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Mexico, and Argentina.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that supports American jobs by financing U.S. exports around the world. In the past five years Ex-Im Bank has authorized $65.6 billion of financing in over 10,000 transactions. Annually, the Bank sustains an estimated 200,000 U.S. jobs directly, and another one million jobs indirectly.