Hike funding

Jamie Dimon says stopping oil and gas funding would be ‘America’s way to hell’

Stop new oil and gas financing? “It would be the road to hell for America.”


—Jamie Dimon

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon assured lawmakers that his bank has no plans to stop financing growth in the oil sector.

Dimon, who appeared with other top banking executives on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, was asked by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan Democrat, to give a “yes” or “no” answer to a handful of questions. This included if JPMorgan JPM,
-0.80%
has a policy against financing new oil and gas products.

“Absolutely not and that would be the way to hell for America,” said Dimon, whose bank is the largest U.S. provider of loans and other capital to the energy sector.

Sixty banks profiled in a report released earlier this year funneled $185.5 billion last year alone to the top 100 companies doing the most to develop CL00 oil,
+0.77%
and the gas sector. The report came from a group of environmental non-profit organizations in their 13th Banking on climate chaos Release.

The Biden administration has used its slim majority in Congress to pass legislation on top of executive orders for a shift to alternative energy that aims to cut U.S. carbon emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. The energy sector contributes about 40% of global CO2 trapping heat. Three-quarters of these emissions come from the six largest economies, led by the United States and China, according to the World Bank.

Republicans and some business leaders argue that if the solar, wind and nuclear ICLN,
-2.58%
can absorb a greater share of the country’s energy needs, traditional oil and gas must play a role due to high energy costs and help foster US energy independence.

The statement examining the banks said that in the six years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, which set a global warming target of no more than 2 degrees Celsius and, ideally, 1.5 degrees, the 60 world’s largest banks financed fossil fuels with $4.6 trillion. in loans and other capital.

The report showed global fossil fuel financing remains dominated by four US banks, with Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup C,
-1.47%
WFC Wells Fargo,
-1.40%
and Bank of America BAC,
-1.79%
together represent a quarter of all fossil financing identified over the past six years.

On Wednesday, lawmakers additionally quizzed bank CEOs on inflation and homeownership on the same day the Federal Reserve announced another early interest rate hike. Republican members deemed Capitol Hill appearances unnecessary for banking executives. CEOs largely pushed back on capital needs and praised their role in keeping capital flowing as the economy navigates tricky territory as the world recovers from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CEOs will testify before the US Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed.