Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Norway's Biggest Bank Is 'Reconsidering Its Participation' in Funding the Dakota Access Pipeline

Popular

By Andy Rowell

The protests by First Nations against the North Dakota Pipeline are beginning to rattle the funders behind the highly controversial scheme. This means that the pipeline that once seemed unstoppable is increasingly looking vulnerable.

We have news that one of the banks behind the scheme is reconsidering its involvement.

On Monday, the Reuters news agency reported that the Norwegian bank, DNB, which is the country's largest bank, is "reconsidering its participation" in the financing of the North Dakota Pipeline if "concerns raised by Native American tribes against its construction are not addressed."

DNB, which is rumored to be loaning just under $350 million or some 10 percent of the cost of the project, said in a statement that the bank is now looking with "worry at how the situation around the pipeline in North Dakota has developed. The bank will therefore take initiative and use its position to bring about a more constructive process to find a solution to the conflict."

The statement continued: "If these initiatives do not give appeasing answers and results, DNB will consider its further involvement in the financing of the project."

Richard Bluecloud Castaneda / Greenpeace USA

At the moment it is difficult to see how the bank can be constructive, unless it pulls out altogether. The pressure on those building the pipeline continues to grow with continued physical and online protests. The brutal militarized response, with the use of armored vehicles, rubber bullets attack dogs and mace has sent shock-waves around the world.

The violence against the First Nations has gotten so bad that representatives from the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, has been collecting testimony from the water protectors of excessive violence used against them, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail.

Roberto Borrero, a representative of the International Indian Treaty Council said: "When you look at what the international standards are for the treatment of people and you are in a place like the United States, it's really astounding to hear some of this testimony."

In response to rumors that the police were using Facebook to monitor the movement of activists, by last week, more than a million people had "checked in" to Standing Rock on Facebook in solidarity.

And the pressure continues to pile up elsewhere too. The latest set-back is that North Dakota regulators are considering filing a complaint against Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline, after it was alleged that it had failed to disclose the discovery of Native American symbolic stones on a site where construction was planned.

Julie Fedorchak, chair of the North Dakota public service commission, told the Guardian that the firm had failed to notify the commission of the location of burial ground sites before they were dug up. "I was very disappointed," said Fedorchak. "We found out from our inspectors. Who knows when we would've found out?"

LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock Sioux tribe member and founder of the Sacred Stone camp, added "They are digging up our sites. They are not following the law."

It is this kind of culturally insensitive action, coupled with the violence being used against the First Nations, that has made the banks worry. If DNB pulls out it would be a significant setback for Energy Transfer Partners, which would have to seek new secure funding.

Back in the summer the company bragged that it would have completed the pipeline by the end of the year. This now looks highly unlikely.

In a declaration to the court in August, Joey Mahmoud, the Dakota Access vice president, wrote "The long-term transportation contracts give shippers a right to terminate their commitments if (Dakota Access Pipeline) is not in full service per the contract deadline."

Any delay in the starting of operations would cost about $913 million Mahmoud noted. If the protests continue and DNB pulls out, the pipeline could be in serious trouble.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Women walk from Santa Monica beach after a social media workout on the sand on May 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.

Read More Show Less
Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans and others who suffer from PTSD. Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Arash Javanbakht

For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.

Read More Show Less
Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs. Mathias Appel / Flickr

Koala populations across parts of Australia are on track to become extinct before 2050 unless "urgent government intervention" occurs, warns a year-long inquiry into Australia's "most loved animal." The report published by the Parliament of New South Wales (NSW) paints a "stark and depressing snapshot" of koalas in Australia's southeastern state.

Read More Show Less
NASA is advancing tools like this supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. NASA/GSFC

By Jeff Berardelli

For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.

Read More Show Less
A child stands in what is left of his house in Utuado, Puerto Rico, which was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Maria, on Oct. 12, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Jon-Paul Rios. Flickr, CC by 2.0
By Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope

To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: That our health-care system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely nonexistent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.
Read More Show Less
President Trump's claim last September that Hurricane Dorian was headed for Alabama's gulf coast was quickly refuted by employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). An independent investigation found that NOAA's chief violated the agency's ethics when he backed Trump's warning and doctored map that used a Sharpie to alter the storm's path, as EcoWatch reported.
Read More Show Less

Trending

African bush elephants in the Makgadikgadi Pans Game Reserve in Botswana on Nov. 22, 2016. Michael Jansen / Flickr

More than 350 elephants have died in Botswana since May, and no one knows why.

Read More Show Less