Quantcast

Seattle Becomes First City to Cut Ties With Wells Fargo Over DAPL, Just Hours After Army Corps Grants Final Permit

Popular

Seattle City Council has voted to divest from Wells Fargo over the bank's role as a lender to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and other business practices, including its financing of private prison companies, and a customer fraud case where employees opened as many as two million fake accounts.


The unanimous decision on Tuesday was met with cheers and a standing ovation from the crowd as Seattle became the first city in the nation to sever its ties with the San Francisco-based banking giant in protest of the controversial DAPL.

The Socially Responsible Banking ordinance directs city officials to end Seattle's contract with Wells Fargo once it expires in 2018 and to not make new investments with the bank for three years.

"The example that we have set today can become a beacon of hope" for activists across the country, said Councilmember Kshama Sawant, one of the co-sponsors of the legislation.

Wells Fargo contends that it is one of 17 involved in financing the DAPL. Wells Fargo has $120 million in a $2.5 billion credit agreement funding the pipeline project and said it is obligated to carry out the agreement, according to the Associated Press.

"While we are disappointed that the city has decided to end our 18-year relationship, we stand ready to support Seattle with its financial services needs in the future," Wells Fargo said in a statement.

Approval of the measure occurred just hours after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted Energy Transfer Partners the final easement to drill under the Missouri River and finish the $3.8 billion project.

The Corps followed instructions from President Donald Trump, who signed two executive actions to advance the DAPL and the Keystone XL.


The completed 1,172-mile DAPL would carry oil from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to Gulf Coast refineries and export terminals via Patoka, Illinois. Its path crosses the Missouri River, which is the primary drinking water source for the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.

For months, the tribe and fellow Water Protectors have been trying to block construction of the DAPL. Protests have drawn thousands of people to Standing Rock. Hundreds of demonstrators still remain at the protest camps and thousands of U.S. military veterans have committed to returning to Standing Rock to continue the fight.

Pipeline opponents have urged banks to stop financing DAPL construction and have called on bank customers to pull money out of their accounts.

Olivia One Feather, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, told Seattle City Council, "When big cities such as this do the right thing, it sparks hope in the world."

"It's going to be a mixed blessing and timely at the same time," Lakota Tribal Member and DAPL opponent Matt Remle told Capitol Hill Times about the Council's vote in the wake of the Corps' decision.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

beyond foto / Getty Images

By Kimberly Holland

Children who eat a lot of gluten in their earliest years may have an increased risk of developing celiac disease and gluten intolerance, according to a new study published in JAMATrusted Source.

Read More Show Less
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
orientalizing / Flickr

The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.

Read More Show Less

The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.

Read More Show Less

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro is giving President Trump a run for his money in the alternative facts department.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Read More Show Less
Earthjustice

By Robert Valencia

In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.

Read More Show Less

By Stuart Braun

A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.

Read More Show Less