Leaders in the banking industry clashed with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Wednesday after Tlaib demanded that they commit to immediately end all financing of all fossil fuel products.
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told the far-left representative that her request would lead to despair and ruin.
“You have all committed, as you all know, to transition the emissions from lending and investment activities to align with pathways to net-zero in 2050… So no new fossil fuel production, starting today, so that’s like zero. I would like to ask all of you and go down the list, cause again, you all have agreed to doing this. Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products, Mr. Diamond?” Tlaib asked.
“Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon responded.
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“Yea. That’s fine. That’s fine,” Tlaib responded. “Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief from student loans [that] has a bank account with your bank should probably take out their account and close their account.”
She continued, “The fact that you’re not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt because of student loan debt, and you’re out there criticizing it.”
Tlaib proceeded to ask the other bankers their position, to which they all responded that they would continue to invest in oil and gas in addition to alternative energy projects.
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“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.
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, echoed Fraser.
“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,” he said.
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Critics of the environmental policies Tlaib advocates, argue that those policies have already reduced funding to fossil fuel projects which has exacerbated the energy shortages seen in Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. American financier Kyle Bass, for example, argued that the transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy must not be rushed.
“These transitions take forty years, Joe. The move from coal to natural gas took forty years. They take a very, very, very long time. We can’t just flip a switch,” he told CNBC in an interview last month.