February 18, 2017
NEW YORK–Mayor Bill de Blasio today sent a letter to 17 banks and financial institutions urging an immediate withdrawal of financing for the Dakota Access Pipeline – a more than $4 billion underground pipeline project spanning four states. The pipeline would directly threaten the human and tribal rights of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and violate its sovereignty over ancestral lands. In addition, the pipeline would accelerate the threat of climate change and pose a significant risk of water contamination by transporting over a half million barrels of crude oil a day over 1,000 miles of U.S. soil.
In his letter, the Mayor also highlighted deep concerns over the financial and reputational risks associated with financing the project, including the potential cost to banks if Energy Transfer Partners – the developer of the pipeline – is unable to repay its financing. The banks' financing poses a risk of losses to City pension funds that have more than $165 billion in assets and pay benefits to more than 700,000 New York City active and retired beneficiaries.
"The people of Standing Rock should not be threatened by the greed of a few wealthy oil industry executives," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "The Dakota Access Pipeline not only poses a threat to our environment, but to the human, tribal and water rights of the entire Standing Rock Reservation. We deplore allowing our pension funds to run the risks of being associated with such a dangerous and misguided project."
"As a coastal city with 520 miles of shoreline, New York City knows all too well the risks that climate change will have on our city and our planet," said Daniel Zarrilli, NYC’s Senior Director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer. "Instead of financing new fossil fuel infrastructure that contributes to the problem, it is imperative that we instead chart a course together toward clean energy that will transform our nation and provide good jobs to Americans. Our planet and its people deserve nothing less."
The letter can be found here.
The 17 banks include:
The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
SMBC Nikko Securities