Biden Nominee for Federal Reserve Under Fire For Promoting Climate Change Regulations

Sarah Raskin, the Biden Administration's nominee to be the Federal Reserve's vice chair for supervision, has faced significant questioning by Republican senators based upon her past remarks concerning the role of financial regulators and climate change. This resistance to her nomination is unsurprising, as Raskin has been among those who have advocated for financial regulatory agencies to adopt a broad view of their regulatory powers and authority to mitigate climate risk.

Specifically, Raskin has stated, among other things, that "regulators . . . need to ask themselves how their existing instruments can be used to incentivize a rapid, orderly, and just transition away from high-emission and biodiversity-destroying investments." Senator Toomey of Pennsylvania was likely referring to these sorts of statements when he termed her remarks on climate change "disqualifying."

Taking a broader perspective, the very fact that a nominee's views on climate change and financial regulations focused on mitigating climate change are a primary focus of a confirmation hearing reflects a seismic shift in the nominations process for these regulators. Even under the Obama Administration, less than a decade ago, the views of financial regulators on climate risk were not such an overwhelming concern for lawmakers. This shift suggests a growing consensus among decision-makers that financial regulations concerning climate change will be one of the principal battlegrounds for the policy debate concerning society's response to this global challenge.

Sarah Bloom Raskin’s past statements on climate regulation are stoking heated Republican opposition to her nomination to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chair for supervision and could leave President Biden’s pick with a narrow path to confirmation. ...

Republicans have interpreted Ms. Raskin’s statements on climate-related regulation to mean that she would use her perch at the Fed to dissuade banks from lending to oil and gas companies. The energy industry has galvanized opposition to her nomination with a lobbying push to thwart confirmation. Ms. Raskin has faced much less resistance from the banks that she would oversee.


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