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ntil recently, the idea of a Fortune 500 company boss criticizing the energy transition would have been considered eccentric, to put it mildly. Now, two Fortune 500 bosses have slammed the transition inside a single week. JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon was first. On Monday, he told CNBC in an interview that the Biden administration had basically messed up the country’s—and the world’s—energy security by doubling down on the energy transition instead of motivating growth in oil production.
Calling the current energy crunch “predictable,” Dimon said that “In my view, America should have been pumping more oil and gas, and it should have been supported.”
He then went on to add that the United States had to step up and become a leader in dealing with the crisis because “America is the swing producer, not Saudi Arabia. We should have gotten that right starting in March.”
In fairness, the Biden administration did try appealing to the U.S. oil industry to increase production, but the industry did not respond to the calls for a variety of reasons ranging from understandable disgruntlement with federal energy policies to materials and equipment inflation and labor shortages.
The situation seems to have inspired certain bluntness among executives—earlier this year, several oil independents said they would not increase oil production regardless of where prices were. Now, Chevron’s Michael Wirth has openly accused Western governments of causing the energy crunch because of their preoccupation with the transition to renewables.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Wirth said this week that “The conversation [about energy] in the developed world for sure has skewed towards climate, taking affordability and security for granted,” adding that “The reality is, [fossil fuel] is what runs the world today. It’s going to run the world tomorrow and five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now.”