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September 26, 2017

Denver Residents and National Allies Call on City to Divest from JPMorgan Chase, #1 US Funder of Tar Sands and Top Fracking Financier, During CEO Visit

For immediate release, September 26, 2017, 1pm MT

Contacts: Blair Fitzgibbon, 1-202-503-6141, Blair@soundspeedmedia.com
Micah Parkin, 350 Colorado, 504-258-1247, Micah@350colorado.org
For High Resolution Photos, please contact Jake Conroy at jake@ran.org

Action Alert: Tuesday, September 26
11am at Denver City Hall and 12pm at JPMorgan Chase
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Denver Residents and National Allies Call on City to Divest from JPMorgan Chase, #1 US Funder of Tar Sands and Top Fracking Financier, During CEO Visit

Denver, CO - Residents from Denver were joined by local and national environmental allies in protest against JPMorgan Chase, which was timed to coincide with CEO Jamie Dimon’s Denver visit. Protesters rallied outside City Hall and delivered a letter to the Mayor’s Office demanding that the city divest taxpayer funds from Chase. The rally then moved to the main downtown Chase branch to protest the bank’s financing of tar sands oil, fracking in Colorado, and fossil fuel mega-infrastructure projects and pipelines.

“We are here today to ask Mayor Hancock and the City Council to move our money out of JPMorgan Chase,” said Harry Gregory of 350 Denver. “Contributing to a system that funds climate-destroying projects makes Denver an accomplice in the climate crisis and normalizes human rights abuses for profit.”

JPMorgan Chase is the number one Wall Street funder of tar sands oil––one of the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet. Extraction and transportation of the tar sands drives climate change and violates human rights. Between 2014 and 2016, JPMorgan Chase financed extreme fossil fuels to the tune of more than $20 billion.

“It is two-faced of JPMorgan Chase CEO, Jamie Dimon, to claim to support the Paris climate agreement, while his bank pours billions of dollars into accelerating climate catastrophe through tar sands mines and pipelines,” said Patrick McCully, Climate & Energy Program Director at Rainforest Action Network. “From the landscapes devastated by tar sands mining, to oil spills from pipelines and tankers, to the toxic fumes from refineries, to the climate pollution from tailpipes, communities are deeply impacted by tar sands.”

Suncor, which has refineries in Denver and Commerce City, CO, is the top producer of tar sands oil, with nearly 11 billion barrels of tar sands oil in its reserves. Suncor’s Denver refinery is one of Colorado’s most problematic industrial sites. Earlier this year, the refinery released a burst of toxic pollution containing carbon monoxide at concentrations up to 1,120 parts per million, together with more than 100 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and more than 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide, dangerously exceeding state air quality limits.

JPMorgan Chase has also spent over $736M in disclosed loans and contributed undisclosed amounts toward billions of dollars in loans to fracking companies in Colorado. Research has shown that fracking for oil and gas drives climate change and directly exposes nearby communities to emissions that cause respiratory impacts, cancer and birth defects.

JPMorgan Chase also loaned over $312M to companies building the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline and is financing all four proposed tar sands pipelines; Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion, Enbridge's Line 3, TransCanada's Energy East, and TransCanada’s Keystone XL.

"Funding fracking, tar sands oil and projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline at a time when research clearly shows that we can't afford to bring online any new fossil fuels if we're going to stay under a 1.5-2 degree global temperature rise – which countries around the world have agreed to – is a crime against the climate and human rights," said Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an indigenous Youth Director of Earth Guardians and one of 21 youth plaintiffs suing the government for failing to act on climate change and protect future generations.

The demonstrations are part of a rapidly growing movement calling on banks to stop funding tar sands, fracking and other extreme fossil fuel development, and for cities to pull their business accounts from banks that support dirty fossil fuels.

Additional Statements:

Diana Best, Senior Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace USA and Colorado resident says:
“People across the country have called on Chase to end their financial support and services for destructive pipelines like Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline. Now, as Jamie Dimon is in Denver, we are calling on him directly to defund these pipelines now. He has the responsibility on his shoulders- either end your participation in supporting and propping up these dirty pipelines or assume the responsibility of the on-going devastation associated with these projects.”

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, an indigenous Youth Director of Earth Guardians says:
"People are coming together to demand change. What happened at Standing Rock was unprecedented. We've never seen mobilization that big from indigenous communities worldwide, standing in solidarity with veterans who fought for this country and people of all colors and backgrounds coming together to defend indigenous rights and protect children, land, the climate and clean water against brutality and militarized police. That happened in America, not some Third World country, and it was made possible in part by funding from big banks like JPMorgan Chase.”

Barbara Donachy, a grandmother and Denver resident for 45 years, says:
“Last year I decided that ethically, I could no longer have my money going to Chase, so I got a loan from a local credit union and paid off my Chase Home Equity Loan. In addition to funding pipeline development that crosses through tribal treaty lands and endangers water sources, Chase has engaged in unethical and illegal business practices resulting in over 3.7 million in fines and settlements. That is not where I want my money and not where my city should be investing.”

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