No surprise that there are big banks that don’t give a damn about climate change and toxic environments ruining the lives of many people. They’re willing to take massive public bailouts and then screw the public over for disgusting profits. Breaking up the ominously big banks and democratizing key economic institutions is thus long overdue.
Despite mounting public opposition from a broad coalition of Indigenous and environmental groups, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo renewed their participation in a set of loans totaling $1.5 billion to TransCanada, the company behind the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
The banks have faced significant pressure in recent months to divest from the controversial pipeline, which would transport dirty, climate-polluting tar sands through the Midwest to the Gulf Coast for export, threatening Indigenous rights, land, water, and communities along the way.
Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Campaign Director Kelly Martin said: “Wells Fargo’s PR team loves to tout the bank’s commitment to responsible investing and transitioning to clean energy, but today’s decision makes it clear that it’s all talk. Keystone XL would be a disaster for our communities and our climate, and any bank that’s helping fund this terrible project and others like it is on the wrong side of history. The growing movement working to hold banks like Wells Fargo accountable for their reckless investments is not going anywhere. It will only grow louder and stronger until our financial institutions commit to investing in a future that benefits our communities, our economies, our health, and our planet.”
Rainforest Action Network Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner Ruth Breech said: “Wall Street is failing the climate test and violating the free, prior and informed consent of Indigenous people. JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo had an opportunity to cut ties with TransCanada and the KXL pipeline and they chose to walk on the wrong side of history. This goes to show that JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo could care less about devastating the lives of real people caused by the environmental destruction and climate disaster wrought by tar sands.”