Yves here. I have to confess not to having paid much attention to the failed nomination of Saule Omarova for Comptroller of the Currency. And I am having trouble seeing her climate politics as having anything to do with her not winning approval.
A financial regulator has absolutely no nexus to climate policy. Of all people, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is a long-standing conservationist and has helped fund some well-publicized research on how close we are to serious climate change damage. I recall the press back in the day treating his environmental activism as a charming hobby. No one in their wildest dreams though Paulson, in a vastly more powerful position with a large bureaucracy compared to the Controller of the Currency, would use his post to advance his environmental concerns. (Paulson did a better job of walking his talk that other super rich ex Goldman partners: he did not trade up from a Manhattan two bedroom and was generally known for living modestly relative to his wealth).
It’s pretty clear the Biden Administration nominated Omarova as a fabricated concession to progressives when she was destined to fail. And it wasn’t her being an official Commie when she was growing up in Commie Kazakhstan that doomed her. One hates to say it, but stories like that (and on her remarks on climate change) are the mainstream media amplifying the Biden story line that they wanted “progressives” to internalize: “Omarova failed because she was too radical.”
Hogwash. Omarova was never never never gonna be approved because she shoplifted as an adult. You think not paying nanny taxes is the kiss of death in a nominee for a position subject to Congressional approval? Cube that for a former crook as financial regulator. Having known some light-fingered people, just about no one shoplifts once. Lord knows how many times Omarova stole and was never caught or talked her way out of it.
Of course this fatal flaw was only reported in the right wing press (and the non-right-wing Wall Street on Parade) which is presumably the soi-disant left has failed to acknowledge that Omarova never would have been approved. The Daily Mail engages in its story-telling via headline:
REVEALED: Biden’s Soviet-born comptroller of currency pick was arrested in 1995 for stealing four pairs of shoes, two bottles of cologne and socks worth $214 from T.J. Maxx: White House stands by nominee ahead of Senate grilling
In other words, Omarova was no Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed her hungry family or even self. And this happened when Omarova was an adult, not a teen going through a reckless/rulebreaking phase.
And so progressives don’t recognize Omarova’s nomination as yet another Biden/Democratic party Lucy and the football moment. There is no way a competent background check didn’t uncover this theft, which all by itself made her unconfirmable.
That does not deny the truth of Neuburger’s main point, that Biden is utterly unserious about addressing climate change. It’s just that Omarova isn’t part of that story.
By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at God’s Spies
Profits are soaring in the oil sector, just what we don’t want to happen
A brief note to say what you already knew and what no one else will tell you when the big bright lights are on — if climate’s your issue, Biden’s your enemy too, and he’s not a soft one.
From climate expert Brad Johnson’s new Substack site, Hill Heat (emphasis in original):
BANKRUPT POLITICS FTW: Green New Deal progressive Saule Omarova’s nomination to be Comptroller of the Currency (and thereby be one of the top banking regulators) has been tanked by a group of upper-crust corporatist Democratic senators on the Banking Committee—Mark Warner (Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.), and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.)—with the support of fracker John Hickenlooper (Colo.) and Mark Kelly (Ariz.).
The big banks hated Omarova’s nomination, because she has expressed the need to actually regulate them. Even worse, she wants government officials to be in charge of any future bailouts, instead of BlackRock or Blackstone. The banks butter up the members of the Banking Committee. Republicans were happy to beat the stuffing out of “Comrade Omarova” for growing up in Soviet Kazakhstan and wanting to crimp the business of big banks, but the Democrats needed a different public excuse to go after Biden’s nominee. It turns out it was her concern for climate that helped get Democrats to dessert [sic] her.
The “gotcha” moment came from an interview in February, in which she said of fossil-fuel companies:
As it turns out, if “we” includes the U.S. Senate, then the answer is “no.”
Unsurprisingly, Republicans hammered her on this quote; fossil-friendly Democrats like Tester joined in. Omarova repeatedly apologized, but the damage was done.
Earlier in the same newsletter, Johnson noted:
The Biden White House has brought on carbon capture and sequestration expert Sally Benson, of the oil-and-gas-industry-funded Stanford Energy program, to be “deputy director for energy and chief strategist for the energy transition” for the newly created Energy Division of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
“Stanford innovators value the support and expertise of companies like ExxonMobil and Bank of America as we all try to help create this next era in energy.”
And then there’s this recent affront…
…from the candidate who told you pretty words to get elected, like these from his fantasized “Plan for Climate Change” (emphasis added):
On day one, Biden will use the full authority of the executive branch to make progress and significantly reduce emissions. Biden recognizes we must go further, faster and more aggressively than ever before, by … banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters [and] modifying royalties to account for climate costs…
As we’ve said many times, Biden is as destructive to the climate as Trump was. But as the Dem-friendly alternative, he gets a pass in what passes for the mainstream media.
Batten down, folks. We’re going to get help from no one but ourselves.