Alaska officials react strongly to JPMorgan oil pullback

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska state officials reacted with alarm this week after a second large U.S. bank said it would not support future oil and gas projects in the Arctic.

The state’s energy commission responded by shredding his Chase credit card after JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced a broad initiative earlier this week to combat climate change and promote renewable energy, The Anchorage Daily News reportedThursday.

JPMorgan will not provide financing that “will be used for new oil and gas development in the Arctic,” the bank said in a statement, which did not name specific Alaska projects.

State officials see the move as a potential threat to an industry vital to Alaska’s economy.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration is subsequently reviewing the state’s business relationship with the bank, spokesman Jeff Turner said in an email.

“Given the company’s recent actions, a change in the relationship should be expected going forward,” Turner said.

Dunleavy tweeted, “If private companies choose not to invest in Alaska due to the agendas of outside special interest groups, then Alaska has a right to not invest money with groups like @jpmorgan.”

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Jason Brune shared a picture of his destroyed Chase card on Twitter.

“Speaking with my wallet, or rather, no longer speaking with my wallet,” Brune wrote, calling JPMorgan’s announcement “anti-Alaskan.”

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. took a similar position to JPMorgan in December, announcing it would not finance new oil projects in the Arctic.

Goldman specifically named drilling in the Arctic refuge as a project it will not support.

In retaliation, the administration removed Goldman from the state’s billion-dollar plan to borrow money to pay tax credits to Alaska oil and gas drillers.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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