The Secretary of the Treasury is supposed to help improve the United States economy, not target industries he or she doesn’t like. That fact seems lost on current Janet Yellen, who is currently using her bully pulpit to pressure banks into denying loans to fossil fuel companies.
Secretary Yellen is planning on urging the leaders of development banks around the world to “align their portfolios with the Paris Agreement and net-zero goals as soon as possible,” and only fund clean energy projects such as wind and solar energy. Her push comes as these banks have stopped funding coal industries but continue to fund natural gas, which is considered to be the most eco-friendly fossil fuel option.
The move isn’t much of a surprise. Yellen has long criticized fossil fuel companies for their perceived role in increasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, as Treasury Secretary, Yellen is supposed to do what is best for the nation, not what is in her own personal interests. Her move to discourage development banks from investing in fossil fuel companies will impact small businesses that need funding to get off the ground. It will also impact nations that have used development bank funding to switch from coal to natural gas, a move that could hinder Secretary Yellen’s stated net-zero emissions goals.
In the end, Americans will suffer as the price of gas continues to rise, just as it has since President Joe Biden took office. About two million people work in the fossil fuel industry, and many jobs in this industry are middle-class jobs that pay a good wage and enable individuals and their families to lead happy, fulfilling lives. The nation can ill afford to shed even more good jobs at a time when the economy is already sputtering and inflation is at an all-time high.
Rampant inflation is hitting the economy hard, making it more difficult than ever to buy or rent a home, purchase food, or acquire a vehicle. Businesses are finding it difficult if not impossible to find workers because, thanks to President Biden, people make more money staying at home than getting a job. However, Secretary Yellen doesn’t seem to care about pressing economic problems. Rather, she is putting a priority on trying to bring about the downfall of an industry to satisfy her own political preferences.