CASPER, Wyo — Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis questioned Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jay Powell about President Biden’s energy policies and the Federal Reserve’s views on digital assets in the Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress Tuesday.
Biden signed a 60-day moratorium on new oil and gas drilling on federal lands shortly after taking office, but Governor Mark Gordon has said the order has also affected existing oil and gas operations.
Lummis asked Powell if there were inflationary risks that could result if demand for oil increases as projected into the summer travel season.
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“Are inflationary risks weighted to the upside or downside if a demand shock occurs and reduced production cannot keep up?” Lummis asked.
Powell said increased demand could push prices up, but “wouldn’t necessarily change the rate of underlying inflation.”
Lummis also asked about the impact that digital assets will have on streamlining financial market transactions, or “market velocity.”
“Wyoming is the friendliest state in the nation for digital asset banking and regulation,” Lummis said in a release.
In September 2020, Kraken Bank, headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyoming, became the first digital asset company in U.S. history to receive a bank charter recognized under federal and state law.
Powell said he was skeptical that these innovations would have much effect of “market velocity.”
Lummis has also announced that she is forming the Financial Innovation Caucus in the Senate, to help educate her colleagues about digital assets and other financial innovations.
The exchange can be viewed on CSPAN 3.