Many West Virginians suffered greatly—and unfairly—from a regulatory and cultural war on coal over the last 15 years. However, despite this war on coal, West Virginians have done as we've always done and displayed a tremendous amount of resiliency. The environmental extremists have been unable to enact the progressive Green New Deal, but they have discovered a new way to try and curtail coal and natural gas use: de-banking energy companies. Some administration officials want banks to cut off financing to coal, natural gas, and oil companies, claiming they pose a catastrophic risk to the entire U.S. financial system.

Last month, the Biden administration nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin to a top position at the Federal Reserve Board, which oversees the nation’s banks. Ms. Raskin, who has been praised by liberals as a so-called “climate warrior,” has repeatedly advocated for radical policies that would limit the supply of traditional energy in the U.S. by increasing their cost of doing business. These disastrous ideas would lead to even higher prices at the gas pump and put thousands of West Virginians’ jobs in jeopardy.

The truth is, there is no unique risk to the financial system from West Virginia energy producers. The risk is entirely from regulators, like Ms. Raskin, who believe it is their job to decide how to save us from, as Ms. Raskin describes in her own words as, “climate catastrophe” that would create “an unlivably hot planet.” Regardless of your opinion on climate change, the tradeoffs involved are choices that should be made by officials who must face the voters, not unelected bank regulators.

Ms. Raskin’s contempt for energy jobs is clear. In May 2020—at the height of the pandemic—the Federal Reserve set up emergency facilities to save jobs by giving loans and liquidity to virtually every sector of the economy. Ms. Raskin argued that the Federal Reserve should have denied any financing to fossil energy companies, claiming they were, “a terrible investment,” and a “dying industry.” Comments like this from Ms. Raskin show just how out of touch she is—especially when it comes to understanding the importance of West Virginia’s coal and natural gas to our country.

Even worse, if confirmed as the nation’s top bank regulator, Ms. Raskin has outlined how she would misuse her authority to achieve her goal of de-banking energy firms. In fact, she has even claimed that new financial regulations to discourage or prohibit banks from lending to energy companies can be done, “without new legislation.” If this wasn’t bad enough, Ms. Raskin doubled down and made clear that she would prioritize her effort to punish the energy industry.

For these reasons, I plan to oppose Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination, which the U.S. Senate will likely vote on in the coming months. I hope my colleagues will do the same. Rejecting her nomination sends a clear message in support of the many families earning a paycheck from energy production.