President Trump's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency wants to penalize US banks who decide not to lend to fossil fuel businesses. Apparently under pressure from Alaskan politicians, and with only two months before a new administration takes over, the OCC proposed a new rule seeking to address certain banks' decisions to stop lending to new oil and gas drilling projects. This proposal would apply to US and international banks with at least $100B in assets, and is open for comment until January 4, likely allowing time for enactment before President-Elect Biden is sworn in on January 20. The rule requires such banks to provide "fair access," which includes providing services except to the extent a person does not meet documented "quantitative, impartial risk-based standards established in advance." Given the prominence of climate change in the stated priorities of President-Elect Biden it is difficult to see this rule--and the other anti-ESG rules and policies put in place during the past four years--surviving once the new administration takes over. s
"'It is one thing for a bank not to lend to oil companies because it lacks the expertise to value or manage the associated collateral rights,' the OCC said on Friday. 'It is another for a bank to make that decision because it believes the United States should abide by the standards set in an international climate treaty.'"