WASHINGTON – An offshore oil pipeline company controlled by JPMorgan Chase & Co. spilled more than 1 million gallons (more than 26,000 barrels) into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday according to the U.S. Coast Guard. According to reports, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration observed an oil slick 3 to 4 miles wide coming from the pipeline, which is owned by a subsidiary of Third Coast Infrastructure.
In September, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruled that private equity company IIF, is controlled by banking giant JPMorgan. JPMorgan’s IIF owns 50% of Third Coast, which in turn owns and operates the Main Pass Oil Gathering Company LLC, the source of the oil leak.
“JPMorgan’s control over a company involved in a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico clearly illustrates the danger of banks owning energy companies,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. “Third Coast features a JPMorgan executive on the board overseeing its management, and therefore exposes JPMorgan to liability from this disaster. The Federal Reserve must enforce the Bank Holding Company Act and disallow Wall Street banks from controlling energy infrastructure, as it poses systemic risks.”
In a letter sent to the Federal Reserve two months ago, Public Citizen urged an investigation into whether JPMorgan’s control over companies like Third Coast violate the Bank Holding Company Act. The letter specifically mentioned JP Morgan’s control over Third Coast and Main Pass Oil Gathering Company LLC, noting that a JPMorgan executive, Marko Josipovic, is on Third Coast’s board of directors. Further, the letter detailed that Main Pass Oil Gathering Company’s operation of a 6.5 mile subsea pipeline with 80,000 barrels per day capacity connecting Occidental’s Horn Mountain offshore platform in 5,400 feet of water.
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