FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2020
Collin Rees, collin [at] priceofoil.org
Kaela Bamberger, kaela [at] foe.org
Over 40 groups send letter: Hochberg’s fossil fuel record makes him unfit to be a top aide for Biden
WASHINGTON, DC — Over 40 environmental groups sent a letter today to the Biden Transition Team decrying Fred Hochberg’s potential leadership as a top aide in the Biden Administration. The signatories to the letter include Friends of the Earth US, Oil Change U.S., Greenpeace USA, the Rainforest Action Network, and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Hochberg served as the President and Chairman of the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM), the official U.S. export credit agency. Hochberg’s fossil fueled legacy at EXIM disqualifies him for a top aide position with the new Biden administration, the groups claim.
“Hochberg was a disaster at EXIM, turning the institution into the fossil fuel bank,” said Doug Norlen, economic policy director at Friends of the Earth U.S. “Under Hochberg’s leadership, EXIM supported projects like the Sasan coal plant and mine that have resulted in at least 36 deaths. This cruel legacy means Hochberg has forfeited his right to a place in the Biden administration.”
Hochberg was shortlisted in early November as a potential candidate for U.S. Trade Representative, as well as other high-level positions in the Biden administration.
“The legacy of Fred Hochberg’s Export-Import Bank is filled with climate destruction and egregious human rights violations,” said Collin Rees, senior campaigner at Oil Change U.S. “Joe Biden must move forward and implement a swift end to U.S. fossil fuel finance — and that means Fred Hochberg shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near power in the next administration.”
“Given his record of support for fossil fuel expansion world-wide, and for deadly, polluting, and corruption-inducing projects, we urge you to reject Fred Hochberg for U.S. Trade Representative and other key administration positions,” the letter reads.
Fred Hochberg’s consideration for a top position is in direct violation of Biden’s pledge to jumpstart a Presidency focused on climate solutions. In his seven years at EXIM under Obama, Hochberg oversaw USD 34 billion in investments in fossil fuel projects, which is three times as much as EXIM spent on fossil fuels the previous eight years under George W. Bush.