Those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline are opening a new front in efforts to stop the project: They are following the money.
Pipeline opponents are putting the public spotlight on the many financial institutions funding the pipeline. A recent article in Yes! Magazine headlined: “A Strategy to Stop the Funding Behind the Dakota Access Pipeline” suggests nonviolent civil disobedience to highlight the disconnect between banks public stance on green energy and their financial backing of the pipeline.
An analysis by Food & Water Watch shows a combined 38 financial institutions have provided a $10-billion-plus credit line to companies working on the Dakota Access Pipeline, the article says. The financial institutions include Wells Fargo, US Bank, Citibank, Bank of America, UBS, and Morgan Stanley. According to the article:
Many of these banks may be vulnerable to pressure. For one thing, they’re eager to appear green: Bank of America, for instance, recently announced plans to make all its bank branches “carbon-neutral” by 2020. Which is nice — solar panels on the roof of the drive-thru tellers are better than no solar panels. But as [Rainforest Action Network’s Amanda] Starbuck said, it’s basically meaningless stacked up against Bank of America’s lending portfolio, chock full of loans to develop “extreme fossil fuels, which are simply incompatible with a climate-stable world.”
One major loan for the Dakota Access Pipeline hinges on the project getting key government permits, a point of vulnerability given the federal government’s recent action which increased environmental reviews.
Yes! Magazine provided contact names for leaders of 17 of the banks so people can write letters. Also, protests at banks have sprung up across the country from Long Beach to the Bronx, the article says.
For more pipeline updates and a summary of the Treaty of Old Crossings, signed on this day in 1863, read on.