Bank CEO Tells Tlaib ‘Would Be Hell’ For America To Stop Investing In Fossil Fuels

In a congressional hearing, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) asked a panel of big bank CEOs if they would decline to invest in fossil fuels in the future, and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon had some pointed words in response.

“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,” began Tlaib. “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,’” she continued. “Does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products? Mr. Dimon?”

Without hesitation, Dimon leaned forward and answered into his microphone, “Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America.”

Tlaib was noticeably displeased with Dimon’s response.

“Sir, you know what?” Tlaib responded. “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.”

As Tlaib continued down the panel, the bank CEOs were more measured in their responses than Dimon, but they were similarly non-committal.

“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,” stated Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser took a similar line.

“We will continue to invest in, and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies,” Fraser answered.

Though the CEOs may have made a commitment to stop investment activities related to fossil fuels by 2050, it does not appear they plan to make that move any time soon.