Wall Street banks slammed a proposed rule that would force lenders to finance fossil fuel projects, Bloomberg reports, questioning both its legal underpinnings and fast-tracked process. The rule proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency two weeks after Trump’s defeat in the November election would prohibit lenders from serving legal businesses they deem to pose a reputational risk, such as those in the oil, prison, and firearms industries. The reputational risk posed by financing fossil fuels is also a primary focus of the BankFWD initiative launched by wealthy scions of the Rockefeller oil fortune.
The proposed rule comes as major banks are pledging to cut their lending to industries that contribute to climate change — every major US bank has refused to finance drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — and the Federal Reserve named climate change as a risk to financial stability in early November. (Bloomberg $, E&E $)