by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joseph Simonson of the Washington Free Beacon delivers a warning about an important Biden administration nomination.
President Joe Biden’s nominee for the nation’s top banking regulator could dramatically change the Federal Reserve’s responsibilities to include harshly punishing any financial institution or company that does business with fossil fuel companies.
Sarah Bloom Raskin, the wife of outspoken climate change hawk Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.), is up for the role of vice chair for supervision at the Fed, a position created in the aftermath of the Great Recession as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. Raskin’s past work indicates she believes fighting climate change should be in the purview of the Fed. Her confirmation would potentially provide opportunities for the Fed to circumvent Congress and force financial institutions to implement sweeping climate change-related reforms.
For years, the left has increasingly focused on central banks as a tool to implement policies they believe will avert doomsday scenarios brought on by climate change. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), for example, voted against Jerome Powell’s renomination to lead the central bank after labeling him “dangerous” and criticizing his unwillingness to put more regulations on banks that do business with polluters.
Raskin expressed support for using the financial regulation agency as a tool to fight climate change in a 2020 report she co-authored for the environmentalist think tank Ceres. The report, titled “Addressing Climate as a Systemic Risk: A call to action for U.S. financial regulators,” provides more than “50 recommendations for key financial regulators to adopt.”
“If we want to create a sustainable climate, we need to transition to a net-zero carbon economy. This transition is not going to happen without guidance,” Raskin wrote in the report’s forward. “Financial markets, themselves, are not going to be the first responders to keep us from the threats posed by a climate emergency.”