Energy News Today

John Kerry’s Financial Crusade Against Oil and Gas

The Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas, Sept. 15, 2008.


jessica rinaldi/Reuters

‘The reality is the Biden administration is not standing in the way of increasing domestic oil production to meet today’s energy needs,” Deputy Energy Secretary

David Turk

asserted at the World Petroleum Congress in Houston last week. Really? He might want to check with

John Kerry.

The president’s climate envoy has been pressuring banks and financial institutions to reduce their commitments to U.S. oil and gas companies and join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which would hobble the ability of oil and gas companies to increase production. Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley,

Goldman Sachs

and JPMorgan Chase signed on to the alliance this year.

Mr. Kerry’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed. In April, members of the Senate Banking Committee sent him a letter expressing concern that he had “been pressuring banks to make extralegal commitments regarding energy-related lending and investment activities” that would result in “higher energy costs for American consumers.”

In May, 15 state treasurers sent a letter to Mr. Kerry observing that he and other members of the Biden administration are “privately pressuring U.S. banks and financial institutions to refuse to lend to or invest in coal, oil, and natural gas companies, as part of a misguided strategy to eliminate the fossil fuel industry in our country.” They urged banks and financial institutions “not to give in to pressure from the Biden Administration.”

It will take more than letters to halt the Biden administration’s war on fossil fuels. Responding to the Dallas Fed Energy Survey for the third quarter, one oil-and-gas producer identified “expanding credit” as a major headwind because “the money center banks continue to seek to reduce their commitments to oil and gas borrowers.”

On Nov. 22, another group of 16 state financial officers signed an open letter to the U.S. banking industry with some teeth. The letter states that the signers will take “concrete steps” to “select financial institutions that support a free market and are not engaged in harmful fossil fuel industry boycotts for our states’ financial services contracts.” If these officials follow through, noncompliant banks would lose lucrative state contracts. According to the letter, these officials are responsible for a…

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2021-12-15 17:29:00

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