AUSTIN— Several prominent energy leaders and the Life: Powered Project have sent a letter to Bank of the West, which announced it will curtail funding for fossil fuel projects. Co-signed by 35 energy innovators and business people, the letter expresses concerns that BOTW’s policies are counterproductive and destructive. They will restrict access to energy, reverse critical advances in human progress, safety, health and security, and lead to higher-priced, less-reliable energy for consumers.
“It is undisputed that America’s prosperity and the developing world’s livability are tied to accessible, affordable, and abundant energy,” the letter reads. “Access to this energy is the single biggest factor driving life expectancy, childhood survival, and the availability of clean water, education, modern medicine, and quality nutrition.”
BOTW made its announcement in August, saying in a blog post that it “will no longer do business with companies whose main activity is exploring, producing, distributing, marketing or trading oil and gas from shale and/or tar sands,” and “will reduce its support for coal mines and coal-fired power generation.”
In response, governmental entities in the western United States have pulled funds from the bank, as officials have expressed dismay at the bank’s new policies.
“We are supportive of transformative technologies, but the fact is that by themselves, wind and solar power simply aren’t capable of meeting our daily needs and anti-fossil energy policies are domestically regressive and globally anti-human,” says Life: Powered Director, Mike Nasi, who spearheaded the letter project. Nasi warns that “if Bank of the West and their peers choke off financing for fossil fuels while energy consumers still need them, the result will be higher prices and less reliable sources of energy to power our lives.”
“Because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow, renewable energy still relies on taxpayer subsidies and support from fossil fuel-based generation to remain viable,” said Texas Public Policy Foundation Executive Director Kevin Roberts.
The signatories of the letter have offered to meet with BOTW officers to discuss these and other concerns.
For a full copy of the letter, please click here.