That’s the question we have been asking the U.S. Government over and over, after discovering their steadfast support for plans to build an extremely expensive, extremely dirty coal plant in Kosovo. We first sounded the alarm over this project months ago and despite essentially admitting that our concerns are valid, the State Department and the World Bank are recklessly pushing forward a plan to leave the tiny country saddled with a heavily polluting new coal plant along with unsustainable levels of debt at a time when the EU’s debt crisis threatens the global economy.
So how do we know the project is so bad? We commissioned expert analysis from a former chief Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement officer who found glaring flaws (check out our initial analysis here) in the project design.
First and foremost he found that the plant will likely cost 2-3 times what project proponents claim. These costs would be borne by a country struggling to rebuild after years of war and would take the form of foreign debt that will have to be repaid by raising rates on average citizens. This is eerily similar to what happened with the World Bank’s last coal loan to Eskom and has led the nations leading nightly news program to ask probing questions about a “European Eskom.”
Even worse, he found that Kosovo doesn’t even need the power– they simply don’t have enough base load demand to justify such a large power project. In fact the project would lead to a generating capacity that is three times higher than existing demand and four times higher when corrected for avoidable losses.