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FERC Ruling Places JPMorgan Chase at Center of Fossil Fuel Empire

Public Citizen to ask Federal Reserve to investigate JP Morgan Chase’s fossil fuel holdings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a decision issued Thursday evening, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order establishing that JPMorgan Chase & Co. be treated as an affiliate of the private equity entity Infrastructure Investment Fund (IIF) because various contractual agreements between the two result in JPMorgan controlling the fund and its vast portfolio of companies. The ruling by FERC places JPMorgan Chase & Co. at the center of a sprawling fossil fuel empire. 

On Monday, Public Citizen will ask that the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to initiate a formal investigation to determine whether JPMorgan Chase has violated the Bank Holding Company Act in its creation, operation and control over IIF and its sprawling network of energy companies and utilities, and whether it has violated the Volcker Rule’s prohibitions of banks sponsoring private equity funds.

According to the ruling JPMorgan Chase is now legally affiliated with:

  • a nuclear power plant in Arizona; 
  • four different electricity, natural gas and water utilities across the United States with over 3 million captive customers; 
  • an extensive network of petroleum storage facilities in 11 U.S. states and Canada; 
  • six natural gas storage facilities in the U.S.; 
  • two deepwater offshore oil/gas production platforms and 1,900 miles of subsea and onshore pipelines connecting offshore Gulf of Mexico oil/gas production to several U.S. states; and
  • 13 natural gas power plants with nearly 5,000 MW of capacity across the United States.

“After years of Public Citizen advocacy, FERC finally stepped in to protect consumers by establishing JPMorgan as an affiliate of companies its executives control,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program. “Now it’s the Federal Reserve’s turn to ensure the integrity of our financial system by addressing JPMorgan’s flouting of the Bank Holding Company Act and the Volker Rule.” 

The Commission’s finding originated with a 2019 Public Citizen challenge to IIF’s effort to buy El Paso Electric. At the time, Public Citizen argued that IIF’s corporate structure appeared to be controlled by JPMorgan Chase. FERC ultimately launched a formal investigation to determine whether the bank should be deemed an affiliate of IIF in 2021, and Thursday’s order is the culmination of that investigation

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