A controversial White House nominee to help oversee the nation’s banking system is an indication of President Joe Biden’s questionable judgment and his fixation on climate change.
Saule Omarova, who is the president’s choice to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has an atypical background.
She attended, for example, Moscow State University in Russia where she was a “V.I. Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship” recipient. She wrote her thesis on “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.”
It’s unusual enough that U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania has requested that she make a copy of her thesis available for review by senators as part of the vetting process for her nomination. So far, she has refused to do so.
More recently, she is featured in a newly uncovered video suggesting that if this nation’s small oil and gas companies went bankrupt, that would be a good thing in the push for climate change reform.
In March of this year, Ms. Omarova addressed the Jain Family Institute’s 2021 Social Wealth Seminar. In her address, she said, “Here what I’m thinking about is primarily coal industry and oil and gas industry. A lot of the smaller players in that industry are going to probably go bankrupt in short order — at least, we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change.” She did acknowledge that the economic fallout and job losses from such a situation would be huge, saying that the U.S. likely “cannot afford” for that to happen.
But that’s not the only controversial statement Ms. Omarova has made. She also has proposed having all private bank deposits go to the federal government in order to “democratize money.”
It all ads up to Sen. Toomey saying, “Republicans will overwhelmingly oppose this self-described radical.” Several joined him in that sentiment in Ms. Omarova’s recent confirmation hearing. Rob Nichols, president of the American Bankers association, said, “Dr. Omarova has an unquestionably impressive personal story and personal journey. Our issues with Dr. Omarova have nothing to do with her impressive personal background, but rather with her very public support for ‘end(ing) banking as we know it.’ ”
The timing of all this is problematic for President Biden and his Democratic allies. The White House has taken several high-profile actions to discourage domestic fossil fuel production, even as consumers have been hit with higher gasoline prices and warnings that home heating costs this winter will soar.
But the Omarova nomination also speaks volumes about Mr. Biden’s judgment in selecting individuals to fill key roles in his administration. It also is an indication that climate change comes before anything else — including job losses and the U.S. economy,