Fossil Fuel Groups Slam Biden Fed Nominee For Her ‘Vendetta’ Against US Energy Companies

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

Several fossil fuel industry groups have lined up in opposition to a top Federal Reserve nominee, saying her preferred climate policies would be antithetical to the central bank’s mission.

The organizations have announced their widespread opposition to Sarah Bloom Raskin, President Joe Biden’s nominee for vice chair for supervision of the Federal Reserve, who they said would lead a movement on the Federal Reserve board inappropriately prioritizing a radical climate agenda. Raskin’s previous comments and policy positions suggest that she would favor forcing investment away from oil and gas firms, according to the interest groups.

“She advocates for de-banking an industry that provides 70% of Americans with energy,” Kathleen Sgamma, the president of the Denver-based Western Energy Alliance, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “Her policies will increase energy prices, which are a primary driver for other inflation within the economy as well. That’s why we’re opposing her nomination.”

Raskin previously served as the Treasury deputy secretary during the Obama administration.

Sgamma and U.S. Oil and Gas Association President Tim Stewart penned a Wall Street Journal editorial Thursday, criticizing Raskin for her “vendetta” against the fossil fuel industry. They said the Federal Reserve’s mandates are “stable prices and low unemployment,” not expansive climate policy that would alter financial regulation.

“Right now we have a problem in that we have high enough oil and natural gas prices that would normally trigger increased production,” Sgamma told the DCNF. “But because of efforts from activists like Raskin, our industry is having a hard time getting capital. So we can’t turn around and increase production.”

On Jan. 28, the Western Energy Alliance, the U.S. Oil and Gas Association and 39 other groups sent a letter to Senate Banking Committee leadership, notifying them of their strong opposition to Raskin’s nomination. Three days later, another coalition of groups including the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) sent a similar letter addressed to the committee.

The Chamber of Commerce also expressed concerns with Raskin in an earlier letter to Capitol Hill.

“On behalf of the millions of Americans employed by domestic energy industry, we urge the Senate Banking Committee to ensure that nominees for the Federal Reserve will not use the power of the Federal Reserve and other regulatory means to disadvantage American energy companies in the global energy marketplace,” the coalition led by the AXPC wrote in the Jan. 31 letter obtained by the DCNF.

“We are troubled that Ms. Bloom Raskin, a former Member of the Board of Governors, has advocated for the Federal Reserve to pursue policies to discriminate against American energy producers,” the letter continued.

The groups all referenced previous statements from Raskin in which she said U.S. financial regulation must be entirely “reimagined.” Raskin has also advocated for punishing banks that serve the fossil fuel industry.

But during her confirmation hearing Thursday, Raskin avoided questions about climate change and potential policies she would favor to curb global warming. Instead, she focused on general policy positions and cybersecurity.

Prior to the hearing, committee Republicans released a scathing report ripping Raskin. On Monday, top financial officers from 25 states said they opposed her nomination as well.

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