Tell banks: Do not fund the Trans Mountain pipeline
Most Americans have never heard of Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline. But starting next month, Kinder Morgan – the largest oil pipeline company in North America – plans to nearly triple the pipeline's capacity to transport tar sands oil. In fact, the Trans Mountain pipeline could soon transport far more tar sands oil than either the Dakota Access pipeline or the Keystone XL pipelines.1
Pipeline projects are incredibly expensive, and 26 banks have poured billions of dollars into this financing this one.2,3 With enough pressure on these 26 banks, we can make Kinder Morgan a toxic investment – but we have to act fast before construction is slated to start next month.
Tell banks to stop financing the Trans Mountain pipeline and all tar sands oil projects.
Expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline would be a disaster for Indigenous rights, our climate and the natural environment along its route. The existing Trans Mountain pipeline has already logged 82 leak incidents, including four major oil spills.4 More than 120 First Nations and Tribes oppose the pipeline expansion, including all of the First Nations in the lower mainland of British Columbia.5 Several First Nations have filed legal challenges.6
The pipeline would increase extraction of tar sands – one of the dirtiest and most climate-destructive forms of oil – at a time when any new fossil fuel production puts the goals of the Paris climate agreement out of reach.
The banks funding the Trans Mountain pipeline include many names well known in the United States, including HSBC, Bank of America and SunTrust. By offering credit to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, these 26 banks failed a clear test of their commitment to stopping climate change and respecting Indigenous rights.
Tell banks to stop financing Kinder Morgan’s oil pipeline and all tar sands projects.
The good news is that we know this kind of activism works. In July, the largest association of credit unions in North America froze its funding for the pipeline. The group, Desjardins, said it plans to pull its $145 million from the project because of environmental concerns.7
A well-known investment research firm recently encouraged investors to sell their shares in Kinder Morgan, reporting that Kinder Morgan shares have lost value over the past three months and citing the opposition from indigenous and environmental groups as one reason why.8
As the Trump administration blocks and reverses climate policies, the movement to stop fossil fuel projects by stopping their funding is picking up steam. In June, Sweden's largest national pension fund, AP7, sold investments in six companies, including ExxonMobil and TransCanada, because their activities breach the Paris climate agreement.9 As investing in pipelines becomes more toxic, banks and eventually energy companies themselves will start looking for safer alternatives.
Trans Mountain is just as dangerous as more well-known pipelines, but too few people know that this expansion is planned – or that we have a chance to stop it.
Tell the CEOs of these banks to stop financing Kinder Morgan’s oil pipeline and all tar sands projects.
Photo: fdevalera/Getty Images
- Ayşe Gürsöz, "5 Things You Need to Know About Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline," Rainforest Action Network, June 6, 2017.
- Tucker McLachlan and Chris Hatch, "Who's banking on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline? National Observer, July 21, 2017.
- Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Scotiabank, CIBC, Bank of Montreal, National Bank of Canada, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Mizuho Financial Group, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Barclays Bank, China Construction Bank, SunTrust, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, HSBC, ATB Financial, FIPPGV/PX, Desjardins, Bank of China, United Overseas Bank, United Overseas Bank, Siemens Financial, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, Societe Generale, Canadian Western Bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
- Trans Mountain, "Spill history," April 1, 2017.
- Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, "Treaty alliance against tar sands expansion," accessed Aug. 1, 2017.
- Karin Larsen, "'It is our Standing Rock:' First Nations announce legal actions against feds, Kinder Morgan," CBC, Jan. 19, 2017.
- CBC News, "What Desjardins' investment freeze could mean for Kinder Morgan's pipe dreams," July 10, 2017.
- Zacks Equity Research, "Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline Financing at Risk," NASDAQ, July 11, 2017.