July 09--A proposal from a West Virginia Democrat that would reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank with more flexibility to finance coal-fired power plants in other countries is gaining traction.
The Hill reported on Saturday that a proposal from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would reauthorize the bank while reversing bank policies that prevent it from financing power plants that don't adopt greener technologies.
The federally-run bank, which finances and guarantees some exports of U.S. goods, adopted the policies last year as part of President Barack Obama's larger efforts to address climate change, The Hill reported.
The bank's charter expires Sept 30.
The proposal comes as U.S. coal producers face increasing pressure from Environmental Protection Agency rules cracking down on coal emissions.
St. Louis is home to several large coal companies, including Peabody Energy, the largest privately-owned coal company in the world. East of the Mississippi River, Southern Illinois is in the midst of a comeback as a coal-producing region.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt and Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk both support Manchin's plan, Bloomberg reported.
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