For Immediate Release, November 20, 2017
Blair Fitzgibbon, Blair@SoundSpeedPR.com (202) 503-6141
Approval Granted for TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline; Environmental Groups Ramp Up Pressure on Banks Financing TransCanada
“The fight’s not over.” Rainforest Action Network ramps up pressure on JPMorgan Chase, one of TransCanada’s lead banks
Nebraska – This morning, Nebraska’s Public Service Commission granted the approval for an alternative route for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, in a 3-2 vote. Opposition to the pipeline promises to intensify and Rainforest Action Network warns that banks backing TransCanada should end their support unless they want to get caught up in the controversy.
In less than a month, TransCanada’s banks have a major decision to make. A $1.5 billion credit facility, backed by 19 banks, expires on December 15. JPMorgan Chase, the lead bank on this credit facility, along with 18 other banks, will decide whether or not to renew the credit facility at that time.
“The fight’s not over yet. For Keystone to get built, it needs two things––permits and money. So while there’s crucial work to be done challenging the PSC’s shortsighted decision, the banks that are backing this disastrous project are also going to face new, intense scrutiny,” says Jason Disterhoft, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “JPMorgan Chase and their fellow banks face a major test. Do they support Keystone, or the Paris Climate Agreement? They should stand on the right side of history by not renewing TransCanada’s credit facility.”
Just last week, RAN unveiled a 3-story banner in front of JPMorgan Chase’s headquarters in NYC, highlighting the bank’s role as the top US funder of extreme fossil fuels, tar sands, and tar sands pipelines.
Despite tar sands oil’s disastrous impacts on the climate, the environment and human rights, JPMorgan Chase is ramping up its investments in the sector. According to a report from RAN that came out this month, the bank has poured nearly $2B into tar sands in the first three quarters of 2017 alone — already a 17% uptick from all of 2016.
“Keystone would lock us into decades of further tar sands extraction, which we already know will push us over the threshold of a liveable climate,” says Ruth Breech, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “What we need right now is to end any expansion of tar sands and to invest in renewable energy. Given the leadership vacuum we face under the Trump administration, now more than ever, we must call on banks like JPMorgan Chase to steer away from irreversible climate disaster and human rights violations.”