Everything Woke Goes Broke
May 5th, 2023
- American natural gas is the world’s cleanest, most affordable, and most reliable energy. America’s energy independence and national security depends on it.
- Natural gas prices are down, but the industry’s spirits are high.
- The Ohio House wants power companies out of electric vehicle charging.
- First of China’s desert wind, solar projects online and it’s huge.
- Manchin rails against Biden’s clean energy plans amid political headwinds.
- Senator says he’ll vote to overturn Biden policy on solar panel imports.
- More bad news for EV manufacturing.
- United Auto Workers hold on Biden endorsement after new EV mandates.
First Republic Bank declared proudly it would not support or lend money to the fossil fuel industry. When a bank tells us they don’t want to make money, we believe them.
- First Republic Bank, which recently required a $30 billion bailout from its industry peers to stay afloat, became the first large U.S. bank to stop lending to the fossil fuels industry back in 2021, achieving carbon neutrality that same year.
- It pledged to remain 100% carbon neutral.
- It also said it would purchase totally renewable energy.
A popular tool of the anti-fossil fuel movement is the ever-increasing use of “Environmental, Social, and Governance,” or ESG, criteria for investment. The end goal of the Environmental portion of ESG is a “net zero economy” — that is, net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as per the Paris Climate Accords.
Silicon Valley Bank also had a sizable green investment strategy.
- It was the go-to bank for clean tech start-ups, said one company CEO.
- SVB was also instrumental in helping launch community solar projects.
- Before the collapse, the bank boasted that it financed or helped finance 62 percent of community solar projects in America.
That didn’t work out so well, either.
Dr. Timothy Nash of Northwood University points out that BlackRock is only one of many institutional investors to advocate for ESG; from banks to ratings agencies to even the SEC, the use of ESG criteria for judging companies’ worth is certainly prominent on Wall Street and in Washington.
How the advocates intend to both give rise to the “net zero transition” while avoiding divesting from oil and gas has yet to be demonstrated.
Admittedly, ESG was not the single direct cause of any of the recent bank collapses. Technically speaking, rising interest rates, hot deposits and faulty asset-liability management contributed to its demise and that of other big banks, as Paul Tice clearly points out in the Washington Examiner piece.
Tice also stated, at the very least, the recent run of bank collapses offers still more proof that ESG does not lead to better business performance or investment outcomes.
Bottom Line: Banks like First Republic rolled the dice and lost. They are now bankrupt thanks, at least in part, to their adoption of ESG policies. Guess “Go Woke, Go Broke” really is a thing.
New York moves to ban natural gas hookups. The Empire State may soon become the first state in the nation to ban natural gas in new construction, under a budget deal announced by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
The New York ban would be a significant expansion of a nationwide movement aimed at addressing climate change in part by reducing the use of gas as well as oil. Previous bans have been enacted at the city level in other left-leaning states, including California, Massachusetts and Washington.
Gov. Hochul soft-pedaled it last week, saying the deal was a “conceptual agreement” whose broad strokes needed to be “fine tuned” before a final vote was held. The proposed ban would not apply to existing buildings.
- New Yorkers faced a 30% increase in electric bills this past winter.
- What is Gov. Hochul’s solution? Ban natural gas hookups and send energy bills even higher in a state where electricity rates are 40% above the national average.
- A poll shows 53% of residents oppose the ban, as inflation has gripped the state’s economy.
Natural gas is widely used in the United States. According to the U.S. Energy Department, 61 percent of American households used natural gas for either space heating, water heating or cooking in 2020, including 52% of households in New York State.
This will mean higher energy bills and it will hurt low- and middle-income residents and small business owners, particularly restaurants, the most.
This is another prime example of progressive-led government overreach, thanks to fear mongering by extremist climate-change
Bottom Line: Forcing residents of any state to use one form of energy over another is blatant interference in the free market system. Natural gas is an energy source that can help America regain its energy independence.
Good news! Gas prices are moving in the right direction. The national average dropped 6 cents this week, down to $3.56 per gallon. Global recession fears have had an impact on oil prices, with the price per barrel down about $20 over the past week. Take this information with a grain of salt, however. As summer approaches, demand for gasoline will increase, and prices will do the same.
Hearing On ESG And AGs: On Wednesday, May 10, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee will have a hearing called “ESG Part I: An Examination of Environmental, Social, and Governance Practices with Attorneys General.”
Hearing On National Costs Of Climate Change: On Wednesday, May 10, the Senate Budget Committee will have a hearing to examine leadership perspectives and experience on the national costs of climate change.
“Joe Biden doesn’t hate oil and gas. Joe Biden hates US oil and gas. Instead of relying on Putin, Maduro, and the Saudis for fossil fuels, we MUST take an all-of-the-above energy approach and unleash our energy independence and invest in American jobs.”
— Congressman John James (R-MI) on Twitter.