Big French Bank Defunds Pipelines – Sign now to #DivestTheGlobe

I’ve got more good news this week: French Mega-bank BNP Paribas announced this that it’s cutting its funding for extreme oil and fracked gas projects in the US and Canada. While we (and our friends in France) will need to monitor the implementation and details, the news is REALLY GOOD.

Specifically: BNP Paribas will not fund new exploration, production, transportation and export projects related to Tar sands, fracked gas and the Arctic, nor the companies involved in more than 30% of their activities; The announcement includes a ban on funding Keystone XL and TransCanada, Line 3 and Enbridge, a Texas fracked gas export facility and any future gas export terminals in the Gulf; and more!

It’s a really big deal and I hope you’ll share the news in the footnotes to spread the word. But I also noticed that you haven’t signed on to our petition calling on 90+ of the biggest banks in the world to Divest from fossil fuels. Can you sign on now?
Ran Action Calling on BNP to Divest, and they did!

I need your signature this week because we’re already planning a big, global day of action to deliver all the signatures October 23-25. All over the world, activists will be showing up at local bank branches and demanding to know if companies like Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others will follow BNP Paribas’ lead and #DivestTheGlobe. You can sign up to host or attend an event in your town, but first — click here to sign on to our petition and tell the biggest banks to stop finding climate chaos and respect indigenous rights.

Thanks, Drew and the team

Photo by Toben Dilworth / RAN

Big news – Basic economics killed a pipeline

TransCanada, the same company behind Keystone XL, just pulled the plug on its disastrous $15.7 billion Energy East Pipeline in Canada.

This is a huge win for all the climate activists, Indigenous leaders and nations, and Canadians of all sorts who fought for years to stop this pipeline — just as we in the US have been fighting to stop #KXL and the Dakota Access Pipeline (#DAPL).

Ultimately, it wasn’t a rally, protest, or petition that slayed the great black snake known as Energy East — it was basic economics.

That’s important for two reasons: One, it puts added pressure on TransCanada and their partners to deliver on KXl, DAPL and other projects — one down, many to go and the stakes just got higher. Two, it indicates that we can stop these projects by speaking their language — and money talks.

Divest the Globe, Defund the PipelinesSign here to stand with Mazaska Talks* and other allies in telling the big banks: stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights!

It’s important to understand that big pipelines and other fossil fuel projects are funded almost entirely by the big banks — companies like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. You undoubtedly know many of those big banks, they have branches on millions of street corners in most cities and towns like Columbia. You might even use them for your checking accounts or credit cards.

They’d rather you didn’t know that they’re financing climate disaster projects like Energy East, KXL, and DAPL. That’s why many of them signed onto the Equator Principles. It’s a promise between the biggest banks to NOT finance projects that threaten the climate and local communities. It sounds good, but they haven’t lived up to their promise.

The Dakota Access Pipeline was financed by these so called “Equator banks”, even though it was built to pump the dirtiest oil on earth, and was fiercely opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Lakota Tribes.

It’s not just in the U.S., either: The Agua Zarca dam in Honduras, also passed the ‘Equator test’ as a project supposedly respecting the rights of the Lenca communities. Tragically, Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for speaking out against the project.

On October 23rd, 92 of the world’s largest banks will meet in São Paolo, Brazil to discuss and re-commit to the Equator Principles. The list of attendees will include DAPL & KeystoneXL financiers such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and many more.

This coalition is calling on allies everywhere to participate by signing this petition and joining us for a mass global action between October 23-25. Will you sign here to tell the big banks: stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous rights?

PS – Once you’ve signed on, click here to host or attend a local rally, protest or teach-in on October 23, 24 or 25 as part of this collective “Divest The Globe” action!

* “mazaska” is a Lakota for “money”, an homage to the resistance at Standing Rock. The website Mazaskatalks.org is a centralized resource for this campaign, with detailed financial data as well as tools for taking action.

Every Branch, Every bank

Our #NoDAPL movement is celebrating the fact that a federal judge ordered the US Army Corp of Engineers to re-do its environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline. But the judge didn’t shut down the pipeline (yet) and we still need to take action to stop DAPL, and all pipelines proposed in North America.

More than 150,000 people, representing more than $4.3 billion dollars in assets, have signed on to demand an end to the dig, dump, burn capitalism embodied by these pipelines.1 And now,indigenous leaders are asking for your help to deliver the message to “every bank, every branch” this summer.2 Will you sign up here to host a #DeFundPipelines delivery event in Columbia?

It’s been months since President Trump’s reckless executive orders to ram through DAPL and other pipelines. Since then we’ve learned that the company behind DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners used money from bankers and pension funds to hire military contractor TigerSwan to spy on encampments and coordinate brutal responses that included pepper spray, rubber bullets and blasting water protectors with water cannons in freezing weather.3

By the time oil finally began flowing through the pipeline, the same day that Trump Pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement,4 DAPL had already leaked.5 That’s the same fate that awaits hundreds of communities and tribes if the build out of DAPL and 4 new proposed tar sands pipelines is allowed to proceed.

But without loans, bond sales, and other forms of financial support, pipelines like DAPL, Keystone XL, Trans Mountain, Line 3, Energy East and other oil infrastructure won’t be built. In fact, just this week Dutch Bank ING announced plans to scale back and revisit financing of Tar Sands pipelines.6A lot of US banks also decided to sit out a round of financing for the Trans-Mountain pipeline.7

Our pressure is clearly having an impact on these banks, but to stop these pipelines for good, we all need to do our part to help protect water, Indigenous rights and our climate. You can help by showing up in person to deliver the message to these banks that it’s time to stop financing human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

Sign up here to host a #DeFundPipelines delivery even in Columbia – we’ll support you with a detailed how-to manual, sample materials, signs and a community support fund to help you pay for logistics.

Drew and the 198 methods crew

PS – Don’t stop now – you can also organize to get your city, tribe or local government to divest. Check in with our allies at Mazaskatalks.org to get connected and learn how.

Sign up to host an event near you »

1 – https://petitions.signforgood.com/DefundPipelines/?code=198
2 – http://www.ienearth.org/indigenous-environmental-network-advancing-petition-to-stop-financing-dapl-and-tar-sands-pipelines/
3 – https://theintercept.com/2017/06/21/as-standing-rock-camps-cleared-out-tigerswan-expanded-surveillance-to-array-of-progressive-causes/
– https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/2/as_oil_starts_to_flow_through
– https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/2/part_2_private_security_firm_tigerswan
4 – http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/06/the-dakota-access-pipeline-went-online-today.html
5- https://www.thenation.com/article/the-fight-against-the-dakota-access-pipeline-is-not-over-heres-how-you-can-join/
6 – http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/dutch-bank-ing-to-cease-ties-to-tar-sands-pipelines-including-keystone-xl/
7 – http://www.chron.com/business/energy/article/Kinder-Morgan-secures-financial-backing-for-11249906.php
– https://www.ran.org/28_major_banks_warned_not_to_finance_trans_mountain_pipeline_expansion

Take on the 17 Banks that finance Tar Sands Pipelines

*Editor’s note* I kept looking for a break in the Trump news to send this email, instead, I emailed out an earlier version of it 20 minutes before a special prosecutor was appointed. *sigh*If you’re still looking for a way to respond directly — by calling for impeachment,  an independent investigation, or a lick of sanity — then follow the links and know that we all say Amen. If you’ve had enough Trump news for a moment, and are looking for something else to do that really makes a difference, read on.

~Drew

The Global Movement to Divest is Working.

Earlier this month in New York and around the world, we saw the power of the Global Divestment Mobilization. Activists rallied in Sweden at the home of the Nobel Peace Prize, at over a dozen Chase Bank branch locations in Seattle, and on the terrace inside of Trump Tower in New York.1

Each action was unique, but they all carried the same basic demand: to have our neighbors, our elected leaders, and our institutions divest from the very fossil fuel companies that are destroying the planet. And we’re not done yet!

Sign here to support an indigenous-lead coalition of over a dozen groups calling for Big Banks to stop financing the Dakota Access pipeline and 4 planned tar sands pipelines, including Keystone XL.

Our work is already having an impact. Last week, US Bank announced that it would stop directly funding FUTURE pipeline projects.2

It’s a good start, though notably US Bank has just renewed its lending to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and to a series of natural gas pipelines in the East,3so clearly, they (and we) have more work to do. And NO US Bank did NOT yet stop funding pipelines.

And this is the perfect time to turn up the pressure on the banks, in particular, for their role in financing the climate crisis. Summer is also the season when most big companies hold their shareholder meetings. And the global divestment movement is putting the screws to companies large and small in demanding that they align their investments with the future of life on earth: US Bank’s announcement came after years of pressure (and an epic banner drop during a nationally televised football game),4 and was made at their shareholder meeting. And at their shareholder meeting a few weeks ago, Citgroup Chairman Mike O’Neill apologized to two indigenous women who’d been leaders in the #NoDAPL fight and said “We wish we could have a do-over on [the Dakota Access Pipeline]”.5 Even Exxon may face a shareholder revolt this month.6

Just as important, the tar sands are actively shopping for new investors right now. Several banks are attempting to round up $5.5 billion (Canadian dollars) in new credit to fund Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. The Keystone XL and Energy East pipelines (both Transcanada projects) will soon be in the same position. It’s time to turn up the pressure, and where possible, move your money.

The black snakes may be filled with oil, but the eat money. And now is our chance to drive them off before they devour sacred lands, defile our water, and poison our climate in the process.

Click here to sign on in support of a growing global community that calls on big banks, elected officials, investment managers and everyone to #DeFundPipelines!

Another sign that we’re making progress: The managers of the biggest public pensions in America are starting to squirm. Earlier this year, thousands of California public employees, teachers, and retirees banded together to demand that CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in America, divest from the companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. They responded positively at first – committing to support some of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s demands concerning a re-route and delay of the pipeline.7 But since then, they’ve swung hard in the other direction – putting out an anti-divestment statement from the board and actively shutting down our friends who tried to show up and demand a policy from the pension fund that matches the commitment to #ActOnClimate from California politicians and public employees.8

The story has been similar in New York, where pressure is building on the Comptrollers of New York City and State to align the money in their public pension funds with the claims of politicians like Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman who want to stop climate change, investigate Exxon and block new fossil fuel infrastructure.9 Comptrollers DiNapoli and Stringer were specifically called out to take leadership at that Trump Tower last week, and Stringer, in particular has the power to help move NYC’s banking later this week.10 But instead of showing leadership, so far they’ve talked about “engagement” with the fossil fuel companies.11

What CalPERS and the New York Comptrollers are missing is that Divestment isn’t only a financial decision. Divestment isn’t a thing you do because the markets are going to save us from climate change (spoiler alert, capitalism, at least this form of it, is the problem). It’s a thing you do because some things are just too wrong to invest in. There’s money to be made in war, human trafficking and all kinds of things. But no elected official or public pension fund would ever support investing in criminal enterprises.

We’re saying that banking with Wells Fargo, or buying a bond for the KeystoneXL pipeline is morally similar – when you do, you personally as a human are paying to wreck the climate, colonize and brutalize our indigenous neighbors, build pipelines, and physically abuse people. You can say you didn’t know that’s what you were paying for. But once someone has shown you that yes, your money is being used to do evil things, you’re accountable for it.

Lucky for all of us – from the hunred-aire with a Wells Fargo checking account to the New York City Comptroller – that we live in the modern world with stuff like solar panels and community re-investment programs so that you can divest from evil fossil fuels it and still make money, satisfy fiduciary responsibilities to your shareholder/beneficiaries and sleep at night, all at the same time.

If you agree, if you’re ready to #DeFundPipelines, click here and sign on – and make sure to tell us if you bank with one of our 17 target banks.

Drew and the divestment is one of the 198 methods crew.

Illustration courtesy of Mazaskatalks.org.

1 – https://globaldivestmentmobilisation.org/ – https://indypendent.org/2017/05/taketrumptower-teach-ins-reclaim-public-space/ – https://gofossilfree.org/trumptowergdm/ – https://facebook.com/divestinvest/posts/1585381741485913
2 – http://www.ecowatch.com/us-bank-divest-pipelines-2408440397.html
3 – http://lastrealindians.com/no-us-bank-has-not-stopped-funding-pipelines-yet/
4 – http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/01/us/dapl-protester-minnesota-vikings-chicago-bears-us-bank-stadium/
5 – http://www.reuters.com/article/us-citigroup-shareholder-meeting-idUSKBN17R20Y
6 – https://www.breakingviews.com/considered-view/investors-may-impose-a-climate-change-upon-exxon/
7 – http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article131349249.html
8 – http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article144047384.html
9 – http://gothamist.com/2017/05/09/trump_tower_climate_protest.php
10 – https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/tell-the-nyc-banking-commission-to-defunddapl
11 –  https://twitter.com/GoFossilFree/status/864631556102598656

Check out what you did to DeFundDAPL

** Update** I was writing you a message about what we did to De-Fund the Dakota Access Pipeline (# DeFundDAPL) is working. And then Trump’s Army Corps of Engineers announced that they were ignoring the law, tribal sovereignty, US treaties, and common decency to ram through the Dakota access pipeline. In response, I’m encouraging everyone to join the massive “last stand” day of action happening today. Dozens of events are already planned around the county – Find yours and show up today. And then stay tuned for more info on how we can stop this pipeline.

Here’s what I was going to say:

Last week we announced that over 700,000 people, representing over $2.3 billion (with a B), were ready to move their money out of the 17 banks funding the Dakota Access pipeline.

Boy, did we get their attention. In the las week, Danish bank DNB has agreed to stop financing DAPL unless they re-route or cancel the pipeline in accordance with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s wishes. Citibank, Wells Fargo, ING and more have all agreed to meet with indigenous leaders and our coalition to try and de-escalate the situation.

And maybe the best news of the week, the City of Seattle voted to divest another $3 billion dollars from Wells Fargo – one of the lead banks financing DAPL.But it doesn’t just SOUND good, our activism LOOKS good too! Check out some of the highlights in this twitter collection, with more photos and videos below.

All of this advocacy is having a huge impact on the banks, and on the entire pollution for profit industry that includes companies like Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco logistics.

After a committee of Seattle’s city council voted to divest from Wells Fargo, the University of California in Los Angeles followed suit, and there are already reports that dozens of other cities are planning to do the same.

And the pipeline companies are taking notice: News reports indicate that the biggest pipeline companies in the U.S. are panicked right now – trying to figure out how to move forward with their projects in the face of our unrelenting protest and divestment. They’re planning sophisticated P.R. campaigns, trying to buy off landowners, and trying to get Trump’s regulatory team to approve their plans without public engagement.

All of which tells us something important: Protest and Divestment work. Your actions have been effective this week, and so we’re planning even more of them.

Because DAPL isn’t stopped, yet. The Army Corps of Engineers is still accepting public comments on the projects environmental impacts, and just last week there was a violent crackdown in South Dakota to clear the newly-established Lost Child Camp, that was located immediately across the road from the main entrance to the Oceti Sakowin camp. This fight isn’t over yet, and we need your support to keep it going.

If you can, please consider chipping in to support the legal defense fund for Chase Iron Eyes and other water protectors arrested in last week’s raid. And stay tuned for more emails from 198 this week about how you can stand with Standing Rock and #DeFundDAPL.

Thanks, and congratulations again on a great week of action,

Drew and the 198 methods to stop a pipeline crew