EIR LEAD EDITORIAL FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2021
Biden Administration Turns Back to ‘Green’ Executive Actions To Show at COP26
Oct. 23, 2021 (EIRNS)—The chances for Joe Biden’s administration to legislate a Green New Deal and take it to the Hallowe’en Summit of COP26 are now essentially zero, as even the Democrats in Congress have resisted—or generated resistance by their climate extremism, as the case may be. So Biden has turned, again, to executive orders and regulations, this time to try to show them off in Glasgow. This is because the Clean Energy Performance Program, core of Biden’s Green New Deal, appears to be firmly opposed by at least Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). That would have required all utilities generating/selling electricity, to increase their share of “renewable,” or interruptible power by at least 4% every year. It would make adding any more reliable form of baseline power a very difficult proposition for almost any utility.
Following the Oct. 15 all-of-government executive order in the form of a “Fact Sheet” from the White House, on Oct. 21 the Financial Services Oversight Council issued a report to its member regulators telling them to crack down on bank investments and security issuances connected to fossil fuel exploration and power generation. The FSOC report/directive was issued on the same day that the mighty climate warrior of the banking world, Mark Carney, attempted, in an interview with CNBC, to definitively declare trillions of dollars of oil, coal and gas assets “stranded”—barred from exploitation—around the world. Said Carney: “We have ... too many hydrocarbons, enormous stranded assets, whether it’s in coal, three-quarters of coal, half of gas, roughly the same of oil, we have too many fossil fuels.”
The FSOC is not an advisory body. Chaired by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, it is the council created by the Dodd-Frank Act of the 15 major U.S. financial, securities, and insurance regulators—the Treasury, the Office of Controller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, CFTC, SEC, etc. Its “report,” and this is its first report in 12 years of existence, is actually a directive by the Treasury to the regulators, which will lead to regulations being issued to banks and other financial firms. MarketWatch quoted one enthusiastic financial Greenie: “To unlock that Dodd-Frank power, we need to establish climate as a systemic risk. On this the FSOC was unequivocal—it is a threat to the financial system and all agencies in the FSOC, including the Fed, agreed. That unlocks regulatory power. That’s a big deal.” And MarketWatch itself overstated Biden’s case: “At minimum, a closer alliance presented in the report for diagnosing and reporting climate-change risk for financial markets may help President Biden’s standing at the pivotal UN climate-change talks (COP26) that kick off in Glasgow in a little more than a week.”
But tremendous damage could be done. Consider: The first regulation expected, imminently, is an SEC rule requiring that companies included their “climate risk exposure” in their earnings reports. These reports, usually issued quarterly, have become crucial to companies, and if they have to tell investors that their quarterly results are achieved by taking on media-hated “environmental risk,” they believe their stocks and bonds will be shellacked—it’s already happened to the major oil companies. This is only one indication of the gouging of carbon-related investment these 15 regulators can do under Treasury orders.