Banking industry leaders clashed with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, on Wednesday after Tlaib demanded they commit to immediately ending all financing of all fossil fuel products.
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told the far-left representative that his request would lead to despair and ruin.
“Everyone has committed, as you all know, to transitioning emissions from lending and investing activities to align with pathways to net zero by 2050… So no new fossil fuel production, as of today.” , that’s like zero. I’d like to ask you all and go through the list, because again, you all agreed to do this. Answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against financing new oil and gas products, Mr “Diamond?” Tlaib asked.
“Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon replied.
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“Yes. It’s fine. It’s fine,” Tlaib replied. “Sir, you know what? Everyone who got student loan relief [that] If you have a bank account at your bank, you should probably take your account out and close it.”
He continued: “The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve a lot of people who are in debt, in extreme debt because of student loan debt, and you’re criticizing it.”
Tlaib proceeded to ask the other bankers their position, to which they all replied that they would continue to invest in oil and gas as well as alternative energy projects.
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“We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and help them transition to cleaner energy,” said Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup.
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, echoed Fraser.
“We’re helping our clients make a transition, and that means we’re lending to both oil and gas companies and new energy companies and helping to monitor their course towards the standards you’re talking about,” he said.
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Critics of the environmental policies advocated by Tlaib argue that those policies have already reduced funding for fossil fuel projects, exacerbating the energy shortages seen in Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. US financier Kyle Bass, for example, argued that the transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy should not be rushed.
“These transitions take forty years, Joe. The transition from coal to natural gas took forty years. They take a long, long, long time. We can’t just flip a switch,” he told CNBC in an interview last month.