Actress' petition calls on people to withdraw money until banks divest
The petition asks people to film themselves withdrawing money and tweet it
You’ve shared the protest videos and checked in at Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Facebook.
But are you willing to clear out your bank account to show your opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline?
Actress Susan Sarandon hopes so. She has launched an online petition that calls on people to tell big banks to stop investing in the company behind the pipeline.
Sarandon has been a vocal opponent of the $3.7 billion pipeline, which would carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day across four states. Supporters say it will be an economic boon that will decrease dependency on foreign oil. Opponents say it will destroy sacred Native American sites and wreak environmental havoc.
Wells Fargo spokesman Alan Elias says the bank respects differing opinions on the project, but does business “only with companies that have demonstrated a strong, ongoing commitment to complying with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.”
The pipeline complies with so-called Equator Principles that determine and manage risks and the impact of a project, the bank said. “In this particular case, the Principles provided an additional layer of due diligence for potential environment and social impacts,” said Elias.
Bank of America is not a lender in the project-level financing and has contributed to Native American communities through various initiatives, spokeswoman Kelly Sapp said. SEC records indicate the bank is in a partnership with Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC.
Similarly, UBS spokesman Peter Stack said the bank does not provide project funding, but SEC documents show an investment partnership with Sunoco in Bakken Holdings Company LLC, which has an interest in Dakota Access LLC and other companies contributing to pipeline construction.
HSBC declined to comment, and the other banks did return requests for comment.
The petition asks signatories to withdraw money from their accounts and place money into credit unions until banks agree to divest and pressure the White House for an environmental impact statement.
How will we know if people make good on their pledges? The petition tells people to film themselves withdrawing money and explaining why they’re doing it, and to tweet it.
“The Standing Rock Sioux’s only water source will be endangered by this pipeline. They have put their bodies on the line to stop the construction and defend their water and their way of life. The police brutality in response to their peaceful demonstrations is outrageous, and must not continue.”
Less than 24 hours after Sarandon launched the petition on Wednesday night, it had nearly 29,000 supporters.
Will they put their money their mouth is and #BankExit? It’s not clear. So far, there are no photos or videos on Twitter of people in the act.