Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
Michigan Democrat and progressive “squad” member Rep. Rashida Tlaib has a great idea to encourage energy independence in the United States: Why not just pressure banks to stop investing and funding fossil fuel products?
On Sept. 21, she got her chance to float this proposition in front of a panel of bank CEOs during a congressional hearing. Shockingly, they didn’t all simultaneously smack their foreheads and mutter, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Instead, the reaction can best be summarized by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who said the plan would cause “hell for America.”
“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,” Tlaib said as she started her line of questioning.
“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.
Then: “Please answer with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products? Mr. Dimon?”
Dimon’s response was classic:
“Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,” he said.
Nine simple words that summed it up nicely: “That would be the road to hell for America.” Succinct, devastating, and accurate.
Not to Tlaib’s ears, though; she then proceeded to lose it, suggesting Americans should stop doing business with Dimon’s bank. As Axios noted, Dimon had called President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan “badly done” earlier in the hearing, something she decided to use against the JPMorgan Chase CEO:
Rep. @RashidaTlaib challenges bank CEOs to agree to stop funding fossil fuels, is rejected by every single one
Jamie Dimon: “That would be the road to Hell for America” pic.twitter.com/U7yr6AbtyF
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 21, 2022
“Yeah. That’s fine, that’s fine,” a snappish 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.”
Unfortunately, unless those people like stuffing money under their mattresses, they won’t have a lot of places to put the cash they withdraw. According to Fox Business, none of the CEOs Tlaib asked said they would stop funding fossil fuel projects immediately.
“We will continue to invest in, and support clients who are investing in, fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energies,” said Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup.
“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.
While these responses were all a tad more diplomatic than Dimon’s, all of the CEOs acknowledged a bedrock reality the Green New Deal bitter-clingers still fail to comprehend: A massive system-shock to move the world away from cheap sources of reliable energy would cause untold misery.
Think things were bad earlier this year, when gas first topped $5-a-gallon nationally? Think things are bad in Europe, where the prospect of a winter without Russian natural gas has made wood-burning stoves a precious commodity?
Those are trifles compared to an economy where banks, at the behest of far-left politicians more concerned with their agendas than their constituents’ quality of life, suddenly pulled all funding from fossil fuel projects.
To the Rashida Tlaibs of the world, the system shock would suddenly have us all living off of solar power and riding electric scooters — provided, of course, by a massive infusion of government money that would make the original New Deal look like a continuing budget resolution.
In reality, this would be nothing more than a road to inflation, poverty and the destruction of the economy of the greatest country the world has ever seen.
In other words, a road to hell.
Dimon called out Tlaib’s pipe dream for exactly what it is.
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