Members of Congress to Trump: Don’t Let Big Banks Discriminate Against Energy Sector

Big Banks criticized for unilaterally withholding financing of American energy projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), and Congressmen Don Young (R-Alaska) and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) led a letter to President Donald J. Trump urging the administration to take action against large American financial institutions that discriminate against American energy companies and their workers—who are being hit very hard during the coronavirus pandemic. For decades, such financial institutions have received significant federal government support, bailouts, and benefits, including benefiting from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. And yet, such institutions are now taking it upon themselves to discriminate against America’s energycompanies and our hard working families. This needs to stop.

“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus and the onset of a Saudi-Russian price war, American’s energy producers have been devastated by a simultaneous supply and demand shock,” said Senator Dan Sullivan. “Across the United States, and particularly in Alaska, energy workers are being laid off, rigs are shutting down and future investments are being drastically cut. At that same time, some of America’s Big Banks—bending to a radical environmentalist lobby—have chosen this moment of national crisis to target energy projects and further harm our energy workers—all the while reaping the benefits of federal funding intended to help these workers. The hypocrisy is stunning, particularly as some of these banks continue to finance projects and investments in authoritarian regimes like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia. I thank my colleagues for joining us to call on President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin to exact appropriate consequences on the Big Banks for discriminating against our energy sector and hurting American workers during this time of crisis.”

 “As every sector of our economy struggles to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and seeks financial stability from the federal government, environmental extremists are using the pandemic to accelerate their goal of putting America’s energy jobs in the grave,” said Senator Kevin Cramer. “We urge President Trump and his Administration to use every administrative and regulatory tool at their disposal to prevent America’s financial institutions from discriminating against America’s energy sector while they simultaneously enjoy the benefits of federal government programs.” 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live our lives and has impacted the economy at every level, including the American energy sector," said Congressman Don Young. "The energy industry employs thousands of hardworking Americans in Alaska and across the country; unfortunately, the very banks that benefitted from emergency federal aid are now denying relief to energy projects necessary to workers' livelihoods. We should be clear-eyed about this situation: large financial institutions are bending to the will of radical environmentalists in a moment of great crisis. We should be standing by workers and their families in all sectors of the economy, and these unfortunate actions by big banks are completely unacceptable. When harnessed correctly, America's energy sector is unstoppable; our economy will rebound, thanks in large part to those working to develop our resources responsibly. President Trump has been a steadfast partner for Alaska and the thousands of energy jobs in our state. I am grateful for his support and urge his administration to do everything in their power to ensure that big banks are working on behalf of American energy independence, and not bending the knee to radical environmental interests." 

“Congress and the Trump Administration must use every resource available to ensure financial institutions do not discriminate against America’s fossil fuel industry, particularly while those same institutions are benefiting from taxpayer funding provided through the CARES Act,” said Congresswoman Liz Cheney. “We must also ensure that financial institutions charged with allocating these crucial resources do not disadvantage our essential energy industry. Wyoming’s fossil fuels are national treasures, and coal, gas, and oil producers should have access to the capital they need during this time.

“For too long, Democrats and their allies have attempted to destroy the fossil fuel industry, and they are pressuring major banking institutions to do the same. Such efforts will increase economic hardship for all our citizens and benefit foreign sources of fossil fuels, including America’s adversaries.  President Trump has been a champion of affordable energy in Wyoming and across America. The Administration needs to take action to protect these vital resources that power our nation and provide jobs for millions of Americans.”

The letter is also signed by Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), John Kennedy (R-La.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), and Congressmen Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), Ben Cline (R-Va.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wa.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Michael C. Burgess (R-Texas), Greg Pence (R-Ind.), and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).

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