The Biden Administration, at the urging of Climate Envoy John Kerry, is following former President Barack Obama’s move to use the banks to hurt companies it doesn’t like. The only difference this time around is the target.
Instead of trying to limit the sale of guns as former President Obama did, President Biden wants to stop financial assistance to fossil fuel companies. Republican state treasurers are fighting back, making it clear to financial institutions that following the President’s wishes will cost banks dearly. Fifteen state treasurers throughout the United States have notified banks that they will pull assets from any financial institutions that deny financial aid to fossil fuel companies. The move is not an empty threat; at stake is more than $600 billion in assets that could be pulled from banks that prioritize progressive talking points over ethical business decisions.
The Republican state treasurers not only threatened to retaliate against banks that refuse to work with fossil fuel companies, but also exposed the Biden Administration’s unethical attempt to shutter legitimate businesses in an attempt to transform industry to suit progressive wishes.
In a free economy, consumers are the ones who decide if a particular product should or should not be used. If a product becomes unpopular, the company shuts down or makes something else. If a product sells well, the company boosts product creation, hiring more people to produce and sell popular goods and/or services. Using government pressure to shut down companies for refusing to adhere to a political party’s wishes is something typically seen only in a dictatorship, not a supposedly free nation. Even so, the President and his acolytes seem to believe that crying “climate change” gives them the right to erode basic freedoms for companies throughout the nation.
St stake is not just large corporations, but also the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people. The oil and gas industry has provided good jobs and benefits to middle-class families. Furthermore, an increase in the availability of fuel leads to lower fuel prices that benefit low-wage workers who often live far from their workplaces.
It remains to be seen if banks will take the Biden Administration’s side or ignore calls to avoid doing business with fossil fuel companies. However, what can be said for certain is that the administration’s move to shutter successful companies for engaging in work that doesn’t suit far-left priorities is a dangerous one. A President should not have the power to shut down companies simply because he doesn’t like them. Granting the executive branch this authority would imperil every single person in the nation.