By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — At a recent charity event held by J.P. Morgan Chase in San Francisco, activists attempted to “take over” by protesting the financing of the oil and gas industry.
When doing so, they wore and used products only made possible by the industry, industry insiders note.
Stop The Money Pipeline, a coalition committed to stopping the flow of oil, claimed to take over “one of Chase’s largest events of the year to make it clear: World destroyers don’t get to have positive PR events.” They protested at a Chase Corporate Challenge, which organizes the world’s largest corporate running event.
The 3.5-mile-long race is held in 15 locations in eight countries to promote fitness and friendly competition. The beneficiary of the San Francisco race was Steph and Ayesha Curry’s “Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation,” which seeks to end childhood hunger and ensure students have access to a quality education and safe places to play.
The coalition argues, “If we stop the flow of money, we can stop the flow of oil.
“Since the Paris Agreement was adopted, Wall Street banks have provided $1.4 trillion to the fossil fuel industry. Big asset managers are the world’s largest investors in coal, oil, and gas,” it states on its website.
“The fossil fuel corporations driving the climate crisis depend on this support of the financial sector. That’s why we’re pushing banks, insurance companies and asset managers to end fossil financing. If we stop the flow of money, we stop the flow of oil.”
Activists protested riding in kayaks and holding signs stating, “Chase: Don’t run away. Stop funding climate chaos.” They wore signs stating, “crop failure,” “ocean acidification” and “ecocide.”
But everything they wore and the signs they held were made possible by the oil and natural gas industry, Midland-based Oil and Gas Workers Association board member Richard Welch told The Center Square.
“These protesters who are attempting to boycott fossil fuels are doing so while using the very products they’re hoping to end,” he said. “From the masks on their faces, to the vinyl signs their holding to the plastic poles and even their clothes – they are all made possible by the oil and natural gas industry.
“The ink, markers, reflective vests and eyewear they’re using were all made possible by the oil and gas industry. One could even make the assumption that the transportation they used to get to San Francisco and to the bank was made possible by fossil fuels. Even the kayaks they used were made by fossil fuels.”
Hoping to educate Americans about the value of the oil and natural gas industry, Mr. Welch said, “Fossil fuels are in every aspect of our lives.”
While the protestors claim fossil fuels create “crop failure,” Mr. Welch points out, “Most of the crops we eat, from wheat to corn to a range of vegetables are harvested by farmers using tractors. Those tractors run on diesel, not windmill juice.”
Western Energy Alliance also maintains that climate change policies don’t account for thousands of products Americans use on a daily basis derived from petroleum. These include the computers, phones, access to the Internet, roads and means of transportation, which Stop The Money Pipeline protestors use.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, products derived from petroleum include transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and components for making the chemicals, plastics and synthetic materials that are used in nearly all products on the market.
To put this in perspective, one 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The remainder is used to make more than 6,000 products ranging from electronics to luggage to office supplies and computer chips.
Commercial and residential products such as paint and paint brushes, floor wax, safety glasses, linoleum, caulking, roofing, curtains, fertilizer, tires, mops, rugs, toilet seats, pillows, upholstery, refrigerators, dishwasher parts, are all made from petroleum, the alliance points out. So are health-related products like rubbing alcohol, aspirin, medicine, heart valves, medical devices, bandages, anesthetics, surgical masks, dentures, antiseptics, hand sanitizers, antihistamines, cortisone, and artificial limbs. None would be possible without petroleum, those in the industry point out.
When asked at a recent House Financial Services Committee hearing if Chase had a policy against funding new oil and gas products, its CEO, Jamie Dimon, replied, “Absolutely not. That would be the road to hell for America.”
The Biden administration’s plan to tax and increase fees on the industry will only cause the cost of these products to go up, the alliance has argued. Stopping the flow of oil would bring nearly every aspect of society, on a global scale, to a halt, industry experts maintain.
Stop The Money Pipeline is a project of 350.org, a Brooklyn-based 501(c)(3) organization. It calls for revoking the “social license” of the fossil fuel industry and taking “money out of the companies that are heating up the planet,” according to its website. It’s received funding from San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, as well as from groups linked to billionaire George Soros, the Washington Free Beacon has reported, in addition to numerous funds and foundations.