Jamie Dimon And The Green Energy Grift
Deep Throat never said, “Follow the money.”
That phrase, which has become one of the most famous axioms in politics and journalism, was featured in the 1976 movie “All the President’s Men,” which starred Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford.
But that phrase was not in the 1974 book of the same title by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward that recounted their investigation into the Watergate debacle. [emphasis, links added]
Instead, it appears the phrase was first used by an attorney named Henry Petersen who testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 1974. It then made it into the movie screenplay which was written by Woodward and William Goldman.
Today, the phrase is part of our political vernacular. It has been used as the title in a movie, as the title of a book, and it’s used in dozens of websites, including followthemoney.org, that track political contributions.
Follow the money and you’ll understand why Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan, the world’s largest bank by market capitalization, wants the government to seize private property so that his bank can finance the construction of more solar and wind energy projects in the name of doing something about climate change.
Last week, in his letter to shareholders, Dimon writes: “Permitting reforms are desperately needed to allow investment to be done in any kind of timely way,” Dimon wrote. “We may even need to evoke eminent domain––we simply are not getting the adequate investments fast enough for grid, solar, wind, and pipeline initiatives.” (Emphasis added.)
Follow the money.
Dimon wants the government to seize private property because his bank is one of the two biggest players in the business of tax equity finance, a $20 billion-per-year business that is crucial to wind and solar development.
If those projects don’t get built, J.P. Morgan will lose out on billions in profits.
To justify the taking of private property, Dimon invoked the specter of climate change, writing that the “window for action to avert the costliest impacts of global climate change is closing” and that we “need to do more, and we need to do so immediately” to meet “science-based climate targets.”
Dimon uses the word “science” to justify the seizure of private property, but what he’s advocating for is what I call climate corporatism, which is the use of government power to increase the profits of big corporations at the expense of consumers—and in particular, at the expense of small (and mostly rural) landowners—in the name of climate change.
Follow the money.
J.P. Morgan’s profits last year totaled some $37.7 billion, a drop of about 20% from 2021. Dimon needs more tax equity finance deals to bolster his bank’s bottom line.
Dimon did not mention this in his shareholder letter—and legacy media outlets largely refuse to cover the raging land-use conflicts over renewable projects from Maine to Hawaii.
As I have documented in the Renewable Rejection Database, since 2015 local communities and jurisdictions have rejected or restricted wind or solar projects nearly 500 times.
Rural Americans are fighting these projects because they are concerned about their property values, and rightly so.
A 2020 study in Rhode Island found that prices of homes located close to solar projects went down by as much as 7%.
A study released last month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concluded that solar projects could reduce the value of nearby properties by as much as 5%.
Wind projects can also reduce property values. A 2014 study by the London School of Economics found wind projects can reduce the value of nearby homes by as much as 12% and a 2019 study of German homes by research outfit RWI found that evaluating some three million offers from an online real estate website, wind projects can reduce the value of nearby homes by about 7%.
The undeniable fact is that solar and wind projects are politically popular but nobody wants to live near them. That’s particularly true for wind projects.
Rural residents don’t want to see red-blinking lights atop 50- or 60-story-high wind turbines all night, every night, for the rest of their lives.
They are also rightly concerned about the annoyance and deleterious health effects that can be caused by prolonged exposure to the low-frequency noise, infrasound, and noise pollution that is generated by giant wind turbines, a problem that was documented way back in 2009 by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Over the past 13 years, I have talked with dozens of rural landowners fighting the encroachment of wind and solar projects. On April 1, in Ida, Michigan, I interviewed 10 more.
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