With the issuance of the final easement required for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by the Army Corps of Engineers yesterday, the Trump Administration has given the 17 banks financing the Pipeline a green light to disburse the remaining $1.4 billion loan balance of the total $2.5 billion committed to the project. The money is expected to be released to pipeline owners Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), Sunoco Logistics Partners, and Phillips 66 at any time.
Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), issued the following statement in response:
“Disbursement of this project loan is a key test of the seriousness of these banks’ commitments to human and Indigenous rights. If Citibank, Wells Fargo and the other 15 banks involved with this loan sign the final check, they will have bankrolled a serious violation of human rights.
“Banks are not passive actors in this historic controversy, they are financing it and bear direct responsibility for the devastating consequences of the Dakota Access pipeline.
“These 17 banks, led by Citi, TD Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho, have chosen to stand behind this abusive corporation to the tune of $2.5 billion despite the lack of consent from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, months of savage abuses by security forces against nonviolent demonstrators, the destruction of sacred native American burial sites and documented threats to critical drinking water supplies for downstream communities.
“The Dakota Access Pipeline project and the banks behind it have refused to uphold internationally recognized standards of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the resulting outrage has mobilized hundreds of thousands of people in protest across the world. Banks have grown accustomed to operating in the shadows with impunity from the consequences of their investments, but an unprecedented and growing global movement is now committed to holding banks accountable for their role in facilitating these types of damaging and abusive fossil fuel projects.”