The Trump administration is harshly criticizing banks who are refusing to fund drilling in the arctic.
According to The Hill:
The Trump administration is pushing back against banks that have announced they won’t finance oil drilling operations in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), arguing that banks must provide “fair access to all legal businesses.”
“Oil is the most actively traded commodity in the world,” Brian Brooks, acting Comptroller of the Currency at the Treasury Department, wrote to Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). “Given the industry’s importance and ubiquity in our daily lives, I am skeptical of claims that the sector poses a ‘reputational risk’ to the banks that serve it.”
The Alaska delegation has sought the administration’s help as a growing number of banks have announced they won’t offer financing for activity in the sensitive area of north Alaska that hugs the border with Canada.
“The [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] (OCC) intends to seek additional information from the banks involved to understand the rationale for these decisions as well as their effect on our national economy and local communities. This will, in turn, help us analyze whether these actions violate any duty or obligation under federal laws,” he wrote, adding that the OCC must ensure that banks provide “fair access” to financial services.
The 2017 Tax Cuts Bill authorized the drilling and the Trump administration just completed a determination that drilling there would not harm polar bears hibernation.