By Brook A. Simmons
Have we reached the tipping point?
After decades of coastal elites, the super wealthy, and Hollywood stars telling the American people that our nation’s future will be powered by sunshine and cool breezes, are consumers across the country fed up and ready to say enough is enough?
Most Oklahomans are. Most Texans are. It’s safe to assume most of us in Middle America are.
And even the leader of the country’s largest bank is.
During a U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee hearing on Sept. 21, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon finally reached his tipping point.
When U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., pressed a panel of American banking leaders to commit to divesting from fossil fuels, Dimon didn’t just say “no,” he did so emphatically.
“Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America,” Dimon responded.
Fossil fuel divestment campaigns emerged on campuses in the United States in 2011 with students urging their administrations to turn endowment investments in the fossil fuel industry into investments in renewables. In 2012, Unity College in Maine became the first institution of higher learning to divest its endowment.
By 2015, fossil fuel divestment was reportedly the fastest growing divestment movement in history. In October 2021, a total of 1,485 institutions representing $39.2 trillion in assets worldwide had begun or committed to divestment from fossil fuels.
But divestment efforts have not curbed demand for the fuel Leonardo DiCaprio and his cronies are so bent on abolishing. Worldwide oil and natural gas consumption has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts continued growth in demand in the years ahead.
What divestment has done is reduce the funding oil and natural gas companies use to drill more wells, put more oil and natural gas on the market, and keep Americans supplied with affordable energy to power their lives.
This financial disruption of the supply-demand balance is one of the reasons gasoline prices have increased and electricity costs have gone up. They will continue to rise until politicians, CEOs like Dimon, and American voters finally say enough is enough.
— Brook A. Simmons is president of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.