GOP Senators Call Out Biden Nominee’s Rant About Bankrupting Fossil Fuel Industries

Screenshot via Twitter/bidennoms

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican senators representing some of the U.S.’s leading carbon energy-producing states are speaking out against Comptroller of the Currency nominee Saule Omarova’s claim that Americans should cheer the collapse of oil, coal, and natural gas industries.

More than 1,148,000 Americans were employed in the fuels industry in 2019, according to a joint report produced by the National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative. Fossil fuels consisted of 80% of the U.S.’s domestic energy production and consumption that same year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Despite the major impact of carbon-based energy on the lives of every-day Americans and the U.S. economy, Omarova claimed during a March 2021 lecture that she wants “the coal and oil and gas industry… to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change.” (RELATED: Has Joe Biden Really Nominated A Marxist To Regulate Our Banks?)

In a May 2021 conference, Omarova doubled down, saying that the U.S. could “get rid of those carbon financiers [by] starv[ing] them of their sources of capital.”

The comments outraged Republican senators from some of the leading energy-producing states. All 50 Republicans are expected to vote against Omarova’s nomination.

“Biden’s anti-American energy agenda means higher prices for families, less reliable energy sources and weaker national security,” Montana Sen. Steve Daines tweeted.

“Biden’s pick for the nation’s top banking regulator proves just how far left this Administration is willing to go. Omarova’s radical past and support of communist ideals is incredibly troubling. She is clearly out of step with Montana and I would hope the senior Senator from Montana will also oppose her nomination,” he added in a statement to the Daily Caller.

Montana produced the sixth-most coal of any state in the U.S. in 2019, and contains 30% of the country’s recoverable coal reserves, the most of any state.

Daines’ fellow Montana senator, Democrat Jon Tester, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller. Tester previously told Fox Business that he had “real concerns” about Omarova’s nomination, given her “past statements about the role of government.”

Republican Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey shares Daines’ objections. As the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, he has taken a leading role in opposing Omarova’s nomination. Toomey said at a committee hearing that he had never “seen a more radical choice for any regulatory spot in our federal government.”

Pennsylvania produces the second-most energy of any state in the nation, behind only Texas, and is second in the U.S. in natural gas production. Pennsylvania is also third in coal production. More than 480,000 Pennsylvanians are employed in support of the oil and natural gas industries, which contributed more than $78 billion to the state’s economy in 2019, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

Toomey’s colleague, Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller.

Republican North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer blasted Omarova, and cited his work promoting carbon capture technologies. North Dakota produces the third-most crude oil of any state, and the fifth-most coal.

“There should be no room for this kind of rhetoric and prejudice at the Treasury Department, especially in light of the terrible economic policies of the Biden Administration, which have resulted in rampant inflation and supply chain problems. American energy production, ingenuity, and technology has made U.S. the global leader in lowering greenhouse gas emissions. It’s no surprise that this Moscow State University graduate and V.I. Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship recipient, Ms. Omarova, openly states that she wants North Dakota’s businesses to go bankrupt, even though it will only increase global emissions, kill jobs and shift production to countries like Russia with worse labor and environmental laws,” he said to the Daily Caller.

Republicans at the state level are also calling out the comments.

The remarks “completely disrespect our hardworking coal miners and natural gas workers, and fly in the face of our very way of life,” West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore said in a statement accompanying a letter opposing Omarova’s nomination.

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has also reportedly expressed concerns with Omarova’s nomination. His state produces the fifth-most energy in the country, including the second-most coal and fifth-most natural gas.

Manchin declined the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Despite the opposition, the Biden administration is sticking by its nominee.

“Saule Omarova is eminently qualified and was nominated for this role because of her lifetime of work on financial regulation, including in the private sector, in government and as a leading academic in the field. The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination,” the White House told Fox Business.