Jamie Dimon Says Stopping Oil & Gas Financing Would Be ‘America’s Road to Hell’


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

— Jamie Dimon

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, resolutely assured lawmakers that his bank has no intention of stopping financing the growth in the oil slick.

Dimon, who appeared on Capitol Hill with other top bankers on Wednesday, was killed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan Democrat, was asked to give a “yes” or “no” answer to a handful of questions. That included or JPMorgan

has a policy against financing new oil and gas products.

“Absolutely not and that would be the road to hell for America,” said Dimon, whose bank is the largest US 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 100 companies doing the most to expand the oil industry.

and gas sector. The report came from a group of environmental nonprofits in their 13th annual Banking on climate chaos release.

The Biden administration has used its small congressional majority 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 heat-trapping CO2. Three-quarters of those emissions come from the six largest economies, including the US and China at the top, the World Bank says.

Republicans and some businessmen argue that while solar, wind and nuclear power

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can cover more of the country’s energy needs, traditional oil and gas needs play a role because of high energy costs and help promote U.S. energy independence.

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

The report showed that overall fossil fuel financing is still dominated by four US banks, with Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup

, Wells Fargo

, and Bank of America

together they account for a quarter of all fossil fuel financing identified in the past six years.

On Wednesday, lawmakers further questioned bank CEOs about inflation and home ownership the same day the Federal Reserve delivered another expected rate hike. Republican members deemed the Capitol Hill appearances unnecessary for the bank executives. The CEOs largely pushed back on capital requirements, praising their role in keeping capital flowing as the economy moves into tricky territory as the world navigates its way out of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

The Associated Press contributed.