100 People to Watch This Fall : Page 4 of 102

Fred Hochberg Chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Hochberg isn’t someone you’ll see on the nightly news, but he’s a significant player in President Obama’s climate agenda.

As part of his plan, the president has said the U.S. would stop financing projects to build coal plants overseas — funding partly overseen by Hochberg and the Ex-Im bank.

Hochberg, a businessman who has also served as the acting chief of the Small Business Administration under former President Clinton, already appears to be taking a harder line. Soon after Hochberg was confirmed in July, the bank voted to block financing for a new Vietnamese coal plant.

With forthcoming U.S. regulations effectively blocking construction of new coal-fired power plants at home, much of the growth in coal-fired power is expected to occur abroad, especially in Asia.

Obama has stressed that the U.S. won’t be able to stop climate change enough if it goes it alone. If Hochberg’s Ex-Im Bank restricts coal plant financing to other nations, it would amount to a unilateral action with a global impact.