Chairman of House Financial Services Committee Slams US Department of Treasury’s ESG Over-reach

Yesterday, the Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, announced its ambitions in regard to “net zero financing and investment,” outlining their goal of net zero commitments and how they can compel financial services firms to adhere to their ideology.

Secretary Yellen said:

“Going forward, the Principles we are launching today will support [the] implementation of net-zero commitments and shape accompanying technical work. And, of course, they are a part of Treasury’s and this Administration’s broader work to enhance both our public-private and our global cooperation on climate. We remain committed to co-leading the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group and supporting the delivery of the Net-Zero Data Public Utility. And we will continue to implement the tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act; carry out analytical work on the impact of climate change on household finances and insurance affordability and availability; and engage with community development financial institutions on their climate-related priorities, among other ongoing work.”

Representative Patrick McHenry, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued a statement on Yellen’s pursuit of ESG policies that “advance progressive climate priorities at the expense of sound economic management.”

“With Treasury’s most recent guidance, the Biden Administration is again prioritizing its progressive climate agenda over sound economic management. Regulators should be focused on immediate risks to our financial system—not climate policy beyond their expertise and statutory authority. With only a thin veil of setting ‘voluntary standards,’ these so-called principles will almost surely be enforced as though they are laws by unelected federal regulators and Treasury officials who continue to overreach. It’s clear Treasury’s intention is to direct credit to politically favored activities in order to appease far-left climate activists. The House Financial Services Committee will hold the Administration accountable for its continued efforts to force their political priorities through our financial system.”

The Biden Administration has pushed forward a radical agenda of politicizing financial services with social ambitions that stray beyond historical and practical actions. The agenda has clashed with the House of Representatives, now controlled by Republicans, but there is little hope of halting these initiatives with both the White House and the Senate controlled by the opposition.

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