Rep. Rashida Tlaib Lectures Bank CEOs on Climate Crisis

By Susan Jones | September 22, 2022 | 7:05am EDT
The heads of seven major U.S. banks testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Sept. 21, 2020. (Photo: Screen shot)
The heads of seven major U.S. banks testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Sept. 21, 2020. (Photo: Screen shot)

(CNSNews.com) - "We are living through a climate crisis today, and a commitment to net zero requires a commitment to ending fossil fuel financing," Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a leftist from Michigan, told bank executives who appeared before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday:

"I would like to ask all of you...does your bank have a policy against funding new oil and gas products?" she asked the executives, drawing an emphatic response from Jamie Dimon, the head of JPMorgan Chase:

"Absolutely not," Dimon said. "And that would be the road to hell for America."

"Yeah. That's fine," Tlaib sneered, as she went off-topic:

"Sir, you know what, everybody that got relief for student loans (that) has a bank account with your bank should probably take out their account, and close their account. The fact that you're not even there to help relieve many of the folks that are in debt, extreme debt because of student loan debt, you're out there criticizing it."

Tlaib then asked the other bank executives the same question -- whether they have a policy against funding fossil fuel enterprises.

"We will continue to invest in and support clients who are investing in fossil fuels and in helping them transition to cleaner energy," said Jane Fraser, the Citigroup CEO.

Brian Moynihan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America told Tlaib, "We're helping our clients make a transition, and that means we're lending to both oil and gas companies and to new energy companies helping monitor their course towards the (net zero) state that you're talking about.

Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf replied, "The same thing as Mr. Moynihan said."

Tlaib then turned to Dimon, with one more insult: "Yeah, I'm not going to ask you, Mr. Dimon, because you obviously don't care about working-class people or frontline communities like ours that are facing huge amounts of high rates of asthma, respiratory issues and so much more. Our cancer rates are so high among my communities that I represent, so I'm not going to even ask you if you're committing to ending financing of new oil and gas projects."

Ending such financing is "important," Tlaib concluded, because "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 providing and supporting in communities.

"Anything else defies all logic and scientific evidence at our disposal. If your financial institutions are going to follow through on your public net zero commitments, then the regulators, including the Federal Reserve and Congress, must step in and make them."

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