The Sierra Club has come out with a helpful update on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), filling in some of the details about the financial pressures and deadlines DAPL faces. To sum it up quickly, DAPL is unlikely to move forward until the Trump administration takes office Jan. 21, and even then it “may not be a simple feat.” And DAPL could start losing key contracts by Jan. 1.
We wrote Thursday about how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is engaged in shareholder advocacy around the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The ELCA is one of several religious organizations raising moral questions of corporate social responsibility regarding DAPL.
In a new turn of events, Wall Street, too, is raising red flags about DAPL. Financial markets are simply looking at the bottom line, apparently becoming skittish of companies investing in the pipeline because of unidentified financial risks. They are asking tough questions, according to Bloomberg, a business news service.
Investors concerned about the Dakota Access Pipeline have started submitting shareholder proposals to the energy companies building the pipeline as well as to the lenders behind it, urging the companies to better disclose the risks to their business from the controversial investment.
The third largest U.S. pension plan, the $178.6 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, is one of the investors leading the charge.
Click on the link above for the full story. It’s hard to know how optimistic to be about these reports, but we’ll take the good news where we can get it.
Meanwhile, companies providing credit for the pipeline seem concerned about potential risks, too. For more positive news, keep reading. Continue reading →
This is the first in a series of blogs exploring how religious communities who are Standing with Standing Rock are reviewing their investments for ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Will their investments change?
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has taken a formal position supporting the Standing Rock Nation and its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). It also is flexing its financial muscle, looking at how its investments are supporting DAPL and asking tough questions of Enbridge, a major DAPL investor.
There is a growing effort to get individuals and institutions to divest from companies tied to DAPL. Divesting is one option outside of the political arena where people can make a difference and vote their values with their money.
The ELCA is a large institutional investor, socking away money for retirement plans for its many employees. It’s the kind of big investor that can influence a corporation. As of the third quarter of 2016, the ELCA had $7.8 billion managed by Portico Benefit Services. (Of that, $6.4 billion was in retirement plans).
The ELCA’s investments include Enbridge Inc. “whose U.S. vehicle, Enbridge Energy Partners, owns a 27.5% interest in the Dakota Access Pipeline project,” according to Rev. Jeff Thiemann, Portico’s President and CEO. According to a statement Rev. Thiemann made to Healing Minnesota Stories on Dec. 8:
Portico just this week, along with several other investors, submitted a shareholder resolution to Enbridge Inc. [regarding DAPL] … This resolution calls on Enbridge to prepare a report to shareholders detailing the due diligence process used by Enbridge, its affiliates, and subsidiaries to identify and address social and environmental risks, including Indigenous rights risks, when reviewing potential acquisitions.
Between court challenges and cold weather, the conflicts around the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) are in a temporary lull. Still, the Water Protectors’ civil disobedience has stirred increased hostility toward Native Americans in the region. They are experiencing harassment and threats in the Mandan/Bismarck area, according to the group Nonviolent Peaceforce.
Nonviolent Peaceforce is responding with plans to send unarmed, nonviolent civilian protectors to try to open constructive dialogue. The group’s mission is to “protect civilians in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies,” and “build peace side by side with local communities,” according to its website. It has headquarters in Brussels and the Twin Cities.
Until now, Nonviolent Peaceforce only has worked in foreign countries. It currently has teams in the Philippines, South Sudan, Myanmar and the Middle East. Its work in North Dakota will be the first time it has a presence on U.S. soil.
Below are links to some videos from and about Standing Rock. There are inspiring interviews with Water Protectors. There is a short interview with a 13-year-old youth leader from Standing Rock right after she learned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) easement. And if you haven’t seen it, there is a link to the Daily Show’s biting take on DAPL. The post ends with an uplifting report from the Native American Rights Fund on the creation of the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area. Continue reading →
The Order includes 1,102 vowed sisters worldwide. The statement expresses their commitment “to stand in solidarity with our Native American sisters and brothers, especially of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.” Issued Nov. 30, it continues: “We stand with the community of Standing Rock … in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline and their peaceful efforts to protect their water and sovereignty.”
A number of Protestant denominations have issued such statements. (They are archived on our page on the Dakota Access Pipeline.) This is the first statement we have seen from a Catholic order.
A second Norwegian bank has pulled its funding from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), according to a Nov. 25 story in EcoWatch. Odin Fund Management, one of Norway’s leading fund managers, said it sold $23.8 million worth of shares in companies involved with the pipeline.
We blogged earlier that DNB, Norway’s largest bank, had decided to divest its assets from DAPL (though it still has a line of credit to the project).
Norway is an ocean and a half-continent away from Standing Rock. Is it that Norway is simply a more socially-minded country? Perhaps. But there also is a fascinating backstory that could be part of the explanation. The Sámi people, indigenous people of northern Europe, seem to have played an important role in pressuring DNB to divest.
It’s a story of cross Atlantic indigenous connections and a bit of serendipity. Continue reading →
Native rights and environmental groups are sending out congratulatory emails today on the Dakota Access Pipeline. They are celebrating the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to deny an easement to Energy Transfer Partners to drill the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River. The Corps said it would explore alternative routes.
The question now is, What’s next?
The companies which own the Dakota Access Pipeline have sent out a blistering media release vowing to push head with the current project.
Standing Rock Tribal Chair Dave Archambault is telling the Water Protectors to break camp and go home for the winter, according to reports. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also set today as the deadline for people at the Oceti Sakowin Camp — which is on federal property — to leave
Yet many people at the camp don’t trust that the project will stop and are going to stay anyway.
Further, key pipeline players will change soon, both the Governor of North Dakota and the president of the United States. That throws everything up in the air.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it won’t grant an easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline in southern North Dakota, handing a victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters, who argued the project would threaten a water source and cultural sites.
North Dakota’s leaders criticized the decision, with Gov. Jack Dalrymple calling it a “serious mistake” that “prolongs the dangerous situation” …