Members of US Congress have written to JP Morgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, to express concerns that the bank’s fossil fuel lending practices “are putting US taxpayer funds at risk”.
Sent earlier this week, the letter is signed by Ro Khanna, Chair of Congress’ Subcommittee on Environment Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Katie Porter, Chair of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Committee on Natural Resources.
The pair claim that lending to the oil and gas industry risks destabilising financial markets and “creates billions of dollars in environmental clean-up costs, which are often passed on to taxpayers”.
There are millions of abandoned oil wells across the US alone, many of which release methane into the atmosphere. The cost of plugging those wells is estimated by the US Government Accountability Office to be some $300bn. This figure is set to increase as more oil and gas companies go bankrupt, leaving their wells behind.