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JP Morgan CEO responds to Rashida Tlaib’s demand for banks to end fossil fuel financing

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has bashed US Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s call to end fossil fuel financing, saying his bank will not stop financing oil and gas production.

On Wednesday, Tlaib asked banking executives to respond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether or not they have a policy ‘against funding new oil and gas products’ – to meet their collective pledge to work towards net zero emissions by 2050.

‘Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,’ Dimon said in the clash with the Michigan Democrat and Squad member.

Dimon claimed that the US has the narrative about greenhouse emissions all wrong. He insisted the nation needs to invest more in the industry for long term reduction of the emissions and economic success.

‘We aren’t getting this one right,’ Dimon said. ‘Investing in the oil and gas company is good for reducing CO2.’

In its latest report regarding carbon emissions, the bank defended its ‘significant’ investments in oil and gas production by arguing that it would be funding innovations to help reduce CO2 emissions by a total of 50 percent by 2030.

‘To be a part of a low-carbon future, the Oil & Gas sector will need to transform and innovate, which will require substantial capital and strategic support,’ reads the report.

‘Significant amounts of capital and strategic advice will be needed to support companies in their low-carbon transition efforts, including to help decarbonize their operations and products and develop new technologies and solutions to address the critical challenges climate change presents.’

The bank said it was committed to bring down emissions from the production and refining of oil and natural gas by 35 percent, and emissions from combustion of the products by 15 percent – 50 percent all together.

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said halting new sales of oil and gas would be the 'road to hell for America'

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said halting new sales of oil and gas would be the ‘road to hell for America’

Dimon's response comes after Michigan Democrat Rep.  Rashida Tlaib asked the CEO of the nations largest banks if they have a policy against funding new oil and gas products

Dimon’s response comes after Michigan Democrat Rep. Rashida Tlaib asked the CEO of the nations largest banks if they have a policy against funding new oil and gas products

Bank executives gathered on Wednesday in front of congress and gave a dim view of the US economy.  Dimon (third from left) said JP Morgan Chase was 'absolutely not' divesting from fossil fuels, while others gave measured responses about helping clients as they transition towards renewable energy sectors

Bank executives gathered on Wednesday in front of congress and gave a dim view of the US economy. Dimon (third from left) said JP Morgan Chase was ‘absolutely not’ divesting from fossil fuels, while others gave measured responses about helping clients as they transition towards renewable energy sectors

In its latest carbon emissions report, JP Morgan Chase said it was committed to investing in the oil and gas sectors to reduce emissions by 35 percent by 2030. Emissions from end-use products from gas and oil were also predicted to drop by 15 percent.

In its latest carbon emissions report, JP Morgan Chase said it was committed to investing in the oil and gas sectors to reduce emissions by 35 percent by 2030. Emissions from end-use products from gas and oil were also predicted to drop by 15 percent.

In response to Dimon’s resounding no, Tlaib advised citizens to remove their accounts from the banking giant.

‘Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief from student loans [that] has a bank with your bank, should probably take out their account and close their account,’ she said, referencing President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt.

As she continued to chastise Dimon, Tlaib told the JP Morgan Chase executive: ‘The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt because of student load debt, and you’re out there criticizing it.’

Tlaib’s hostile response was in reference to Dimon’s previous statement that the student loan forgiveness policy was ‘badly done’ and the administration should have ‘targeted the people who actually needed help.’

The congresswoman then returned to her original line of questioning, saying Dimon ‘obviously’ doesn’t ‘care about working class people in frontline communities like ours that are facing high rates of asthma and respiratory issues and so much more.’

Some executives didn't say 'yes' or 'no' but simply suggested they would still invest in fossil fuels while helping clients reach towards a 'greener' approach

Some executives didn’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ but simply suggested they would still invest in fossil fuels while helping clients reach towards a ‘greener’ approach

Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, said: 'We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies'

Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, said: ‘We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies’

Tlaib quickly moved to the other executives for their investment responses.

‘We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies,’ CEO of Citigroup Jane Fraser said.

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, agreed with Fraser and said they are helping clients move towards a greener path.

‘We are helping our clients make a transition, and that means we’re lending to both oil and gas companies and to new energy companies and helping monitor their course towards the standards you’re talking about, Moynihan said.

Dimon also added that officials needed to be more clear with the definition of environmental, social and governance, along with their ratings. ESG focuses on how companies choose to narrow in on sustainable impacts.

The CEOs of the nation’s largest banks gathered in front of Congress on Wednesday and gave a dim view of the US economy, reflecting the financial and economic distress many Americans are facing.

Dimon, Faser and other bank executives also warned the US consumer is in good shape but faces threats from high inflation and rising interest rates.

The hearing was held on the same day the Federal Reserve announced it was raising its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a point in a bid to contain inflation.

When asked by lawmakers, the bank CEOs seemed increasingly skeptical that the Fed can achieve its goal of a ‘soft landing,’ where inflation is brought back down without causing widespread damage to the economy.

‘I’m keeping my fingers crossed,’ Dimon said.

Brian Moynihan (right), CEO of Bank of America, agrees with Fraser's approach

Brian Moynihan (right), CEO of Bank of America, agrees with Fraser’s approach

Fraser said in remarks prepared for the hearing that while ‘COVID is behind us, the economic challenges we are now facing are no less daunting.’

Despite the dimmer view, the CEOs generally said the US consumer is currently in good financial health due to the savings they accumulated during the pandemic.

Brian Moynihan said the amount of money in customers’ accounts has been stable. Dimon said wages are up while debt loads have dropped, and Fraser said consumers are spending at elevated levels.

The CEOs will resume before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

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