Mar 23, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Scoop: Jamie Dimon pushes Biden for domestic energy "Marshall Plan"

Jamie Dimon is seen with his arms crossed.
Jamie Dimon. Photo: Michel Euler/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told President Biden the White House needs to create a “Marshall Plan” to develop more domestic gas and other energy resources, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has been struggling to convince oil and gas companies to increase production more quickly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine sent prices soaring. Dimon told the president and his top economic aides additional gas production is needed both for Europe and America's energy security.

  • Dimon’s call for the federal government to assume a more aggressive posture on energy and climate is a clear signal the business community is looking to Washington for leadership — and big, bold ideas — on how to achieve energy security.
  • He is calling for more liquified natural gas facilities in Europe, reduced reliance on Russian imports and investments in new technology — like hydrogen and carbon capture.
  • As one of America’s most influential executives, Dimon’s pronouncements carry weight. Each spring, Wall Street devours his annual letter to investors for an overview of his global outlook, as well as his specific public policy recommendations.

Driving the news: Dimon made his case for energy independence on Monday during a closed-door White House meeting with 16 top executives.

They included the CEOs of ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Marathon Petroleum, Bank of America and Visa, people familiar with the matter told Axios.

  • The meeting wasn’t on the president's public schedule, but Biden stopped by for about 20 minutes to give an update on Ukraine.
  • Treasury Secretary Jane Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council director Brian Deese also attended.

What they're saying: "We have a historic set of ideas on the table for investment in the U.S. energy sector, which would strengthen our security and make us more resilient to actions by leaders like Putin," said a White House official.

  • "Those ideas are concrete, and we welcome engagement from all those who would join us in driving investments to strengthen our energy sector."

The big picture: The petroleum industry complains the administration and congressional Democrats are sending mixed messages about the role they should play in lowering high energy costs.

  • While Biden officials have called for oil companies to increase their drilling capacity, the president's also suggested the industry is using high oil prices as an opportunity to gouge consumers at the pump — rankling the industry and potentially scaring off investors.
  • “Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hard-working Americans,” Biden said last week.
  • Earlier in the month, Darren Woods, the CEO of ExxonMobil, said his company was "working to maximize production to help fill the world's increasing demand for oil as production declines in Russia."
  • The Biden team has established some ambitious climate targets, including 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and a 45% emissions cut by 2032. Ultimately, the president wants to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Between the lines: Republicans are seizing on the high gasoline prices and the nation's 7.9% inflation rate to criticize the president and his energy policies.

  • “The way to solve this problem is for this administration to stop their attack on oil and gas production,” Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said Tuesday.
  • “Come up with an all-the-above American energy strategy that will make America energy independent, less dependent upon energy from other places around the world," he said. “It's a very simple fix.”
Go deeper