JPMorgan CEO: “Critical” Need for U.S. to Produce More Oil and Natural Gas
Jamie Dimon, the CEO of the largest bank in America, thinks that U.S. oil and natural gas producers should be incentivized to produce as much energy as possible. Speaking to a CNBC reporter at an event in London, Dimon made the case that U.S. leaders should have encouraged more domestic production, earlier:
“In my view, America should have been pumping more oil and gas and it should have been supported.
“America needs to play a real leadership role. America is the swing producer, not Saudi Arabia. We should have gotten that right starting in March.” (emphasis added)
Dimon also pointed out that at current rates, the world is not producing enough oil and natural gas to reduce dependence on higher-emitting sources of energy and meet global energy transition goals. Simultaneously, current rates of production and stockpiles for oil and natural gas present a real threat for global energy security. Dimon said that these factors make increased domestic production a “critical” priority:
“I would put it in the critical category. This should be treated almost as a matter of war at this point, nothing short of that.”
This is not the first time Dimon has emphasized the urgent need to produce more domestic oil and natural gas. Last month, during a Congressional hearing, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) argued that investors must put an end to financing fossil fuel projects in order to hit net-zero targets. When Rep. Tlaib asked Dimon if JP Morgan has a policy to prohibit investment in new oil and natural gas projects, Dimon said:
“Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America.” (emphasis added)
Dimon’s view – that it’s critical for U.S. oil and natural gas companies to address the energy crisis by increasing production – has not appeared to be a high priority for the Biden administration despite calls for producers to do just that. Although encouraging energy production in federal jurisdictions would present one accessible lever for increasing energy supply, the administration has dragged its feet on allowing leasing on federal lands and delayed the release of the new 5-year plan for oil and natural gas leasing in federal waters.
At the same time, the Biden administration has released unprecedented amounts of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, leaving the country vulnerable to price shocks and supply disruptions from natural disasters. The White House is also considering a refined products export ban, which would result in further reductions in domestic capacity and increase fuel prices both at home and abroad.
Bottom Line: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon understands that it’s not sensible to ask energy companies to “produce more” and then follow that request with policies that disincentivize investment in domestic oil and natural gas production. The United States has the tools to lead as the global “swing producer,” but the domestic oil and natural gas industry cannot reach its full potential unless the Biden administration enacts logical, consistent, and pro-energy policies.