Squad Member Tlaib Demands Green Energy Only – Banks Unanimously Reject Her
The increasing pressure on banks to stop financing the fossil fuel industry reached a head last week when JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) that her climate demands would ‘pave the road to Hell for America.’
Tlaib – a member of the infamous “Squad” – spoke with lawmakers and Wall Street banking executives Wednesday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing.
“You have all committed…to transition the emissions from lending and investment activities to align with pathways to net-zero in 2050,” said Tlaib, asking the CEOs of America’s largest consumer banks whether they were aware what steps the International Energy Agency has stated are necessary to meet this goal (and hilariously failing to pronounce the world Celsius).
“So no new fossil fuel production, starting today, so that’s like zero,” she continued. “Please answer with a simple yes or no, does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products?”
When Mr. Dimon said, “Absolutely not,” Tlaib accused him of failing to help Americans with student debt and suggested that everyone with a Chase account close it and find an alternative.
“You obviously don’t care about working class people” and frontline communities that are facing “huge amounts of high rates of asthma, respiratory issues, and so much more…Cancer rates are so high among my communities that I represent,” continued Tlaib.
“We are living through a climate crisis today. And a commitment to net-zero requires a commitment to ending fossil fuel financing. It is important because I want you all to know at the end we’re going to pay the cost of the public health impact. These are people that you’re supposed to be serving, the folks that you’re supposed to be proving and supporting.”
To her dismay, Tlaib received the same response from every banking representative present at the hearing: that they would continue to invest in the oil and gas industry while also supporting the transition to green alternatives.
“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,” said Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.
The unsaid warning here is that Americans are struggling to make ends meet amidst record-breaking inflation and that cutting all investment to the oil and gas industry would make the situation even worse.
“The move from coal to natural gas took 40 years,” said American financier Kyle Bass recently on CNBC. “[Transitions] take a very, very, very long time. We can’t just flip a switch.”
Author’s Note: Regardless of whether or not a “climate crisis” exists, you cannot just end investment in one of the nation’s largest industries – especially given the current economic environment; like Dimon said, doing so would be “the road to Hell for America.”