U.S. energy secretary pitches Wall Street to invest in clean power

U.S. energy secretary pitches Wall Street to invest in clean power

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm urged Jamie Dimon, David Solomon and other top Wall Street brass at a private New York dinner to invest in clean power, according to people familiar with the event. 

Granholm invoked President Joe Biden’s signature climate law in making her case to the chairmen of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and more than a dozen other executives, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations. 

The dinner, which took place at the Whitby Hotel in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday night, was put together with the help of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, the people said, with the aim of gathering Wall Street heavyweights who can direct vast pools of capital and attract private-sector dollars.  

Granholm pointed to billions of dollars in spending for hydrogen and other projects being made available as part of 2022’s Inflation Reduction Act. The law is set to unlock more than $1 trillion in funding for clean-energy technologies ranging from electric vehicles to solar, wind and nuclear.

Goldman Sachs has estimated the climate law will spur trillions more in private-sector investments, making it a key part of Biden’s goals of decarbonizing the electricity grid by 2035 and achieving net-zero carbon emission across the economy by 2050. 

Other executives in attendance, according to the people familiar with the event, included Philipp Hildebrand, vice chairman of BlackRock Inc.; Centerview Partners LLC co-founder Blair Effron; Dina Powell McCormick, global head of client services at BDT & MSD Partners; and Joseph Bae, co-chief executive officer of KKR & Co.

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The Energy Department said Granholm regularly meets with decision makers in the climate and energy sectors.

“America’s clean energy transition will be private-sector led, government-enabled and the secretary will continue to urge all sectors to take advantage of the opportunities to drive forward the nation’s leading role,” the department said in a statement.

The attendees and their firms either didn’t respond or declined to comment.