DAPL Update: News on Ongoing Divestment and Minnesota’s Native-Owned Bank

A collection of major pension funds, a labor union, and many religious organizations are putting financial pressure on banks supporting  the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). They are asking the banks  to address or support the Standing Rock Nation’s request to reroute the pipeline. They have some financial muscle, collectively holding $653 billion in investments.

In other news,

  • Norway’s largest private investor just pulled its investments out of all companies involved with DAPL.
  • This month in history, the largest inland oil pipeline spill happened in Minnesota, near Grand Rapids.
  • And did you know that there are 18 banks owned by Native American people in this country? One of those banks is in Hinkley.

Keep reading.

A diverse group of major investors concerned about DAPL recently issued a collective statement to a number of banks, including: Citibank (Citigroup), ING, and Wells Fargo who are funding the companies involved with the pipeline. It asks the banks to “address or support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for a reroute of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that avoids their treaty territory. We believe this is warranted to protect the banks’ reputation and consumer base and to avoid legal liabilities. As investors we are very concerned by the reputational and potential financial risks due to these banks being associated with DAPL.”

Signers include large government and labor fund managers, such as:

  • Anne Simpson, Investment Director, Sustainability, California Public Employees’ Retirement System
  • New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, on behalf of the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System, the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund, and the Board of Education Retirement System of the City of New York
  • Mary Kay Henry, Chair, SEIU Affiliates Pension Fund

There were also many signers from religious organizations, including:

  • Timothy Brennan, Treasurer & CFO, Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Thomas G. Kemper, General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
  • The Reverend Canon Brian J. Grieves, Chair, Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, The Episcopal Church
  • Rob Fohr, Director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement, Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Haggray, Executive Director, American Baptist Home Mission Societies
  • Harriett J. Olson, Chief Executive Officer, United Methodist Women
  • Jeff Pym, Executive Director, Evangelical Lutheran Foundation of Eastern Canada
  • Erik Mathiesen, Chief Financial Officer, The United Church of Canada
  • Marcus Robertson, Pension Board Chair, Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada
  • Kathryn McCloskey, Director, Social Responsibility, United Church Funds
  • Jeffery W. Perkins, Executive Director, Friends Fiduciary Corporation
  • Peter Bisson, SJ, Provincial Supervisor, Jesuits in English Canada
  • Cathy Rowan, Corporate Responsibility Coordinator, Maryknoll Sisters
  • Lisa Heinz, CFO, Mennonite Education Agency
  • John Koelle, OFM Cap, Chair-Socially Responsible Investment Committee, Province of St. Mary of the Capuchin Order
  • Leigh Sherry, Business Manager, Redemptoristine Nuns
  • Patricia Mahoney, Finance Committee, Sisters of St. Joseph
  • Sister Karen Gleeson, General Treasurer, Ursuline Religious of the Diocese of London in Ontario
  • Mary Rita Rohde, snjm, Treasurer, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
  • Sr. Carole Anne Griswold, HM, Community Treasurer, Sisters of the Humility of Mary
  • Linda Hincken, CFO, Sisters of the Order of St. Dominic
  • Ruth Geraets, Treasurer, Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM, Aberdeen SD
  • Nora Nash, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Click here for the full list.

The latest investor we know of to divest completely from DAPL companies is in Norway, according to an article in Indian Country Media Network.

Storebrand, an Oslo-based financial-services company that specializes in sustainable, socially conscious investing, has sold off nearly $35 million worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge, the company announced on March 1.

“Our conclusion is that these are poor long-term investments, both for our pension customer and from a sustainability point of view,” the company said.

Largest Inland Oil Pipeline Spill Happened Right Here in Minnesota

Minnesota is considering a proposal to expand tar sands oil pipelines through the northern part of our state, a project called Enbridge Line 3. State leaders need to remember this: A quarter century ago, March 3, 1991, we had the largest inland pipeline spill in this country’s history. The leak involved Line 3, once owned by Lakehead Pipeline and now owned by Enbridge. (Enbridge is proposing the Line 3 expansion.)

The 1991 spill happened near Grand Rapids, according to an article in Indian Country Media Network, written by Winona LaDuke.

[It spilled] over 1.7 million gallons of oil, much of which flowed into the Prairie River, after a negligently delayed response by the company.  The Prairie is a tributary of the Mississippi, so were it not for the 18 inches of ice on top of the river, the spill could have poisoned the drinking water of millions downstream, and would likely be remembered very differently. Thankfully, this was back in the days when our territories were still frozen and snow-covered in March, before climate change had fully sunk its teeth.

Click here for the full story.

Native-American Owned Banks

Another story from Indian Country Media Network highlights the 18 Native American-owned banks, saying: “Tribes and individuals that want to move their money away from financial institutions that have funded the Dakota Access Pipeline might want to take a look at American Indian-owned banks as an alternative.”

There is a Native American-owned bank in Minnesota, Woodlands National Bank of Hinckley, with assets of $195 million (Sept. 30, 2016). In adjoining states, there is the Pinnacle Bank, Marshalltown, Iowa; Bay Bank in Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Turtle Mountain State Bank, Belcourt, N.D.

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