Rainforest Action Network Launches Campaign Targeting JPMorgan Chase, Top US Funder of Tar Sands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 26, 2017
Media Contacts:
Blair Fitzgibbon, 1-202-503-6141, Blair@soundspeedmedia.com
Ayse Gursoz, 1-650-391-6443, Ayse@ran.org

Rainforest Action Network Launches Campaign Targeting JPMorgan Chase,
Top US Funder of Tar Sands

The same team that drove Bank of America to defund coal mining has a new target: JPMorgan Chase. JPMorgan Chase is the top US funder of tar sands oil –– one of the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet. Between 2014 and 2016, JPMorgan Chase poured more than $3.1 billion into the tar sands sector. While other big Wall Street banks have been reducing their tar sands investments, since the start of this year, JPMorgan Chase has more than tripled its tar sands financing compared to 2016, to more than $2 billion year-to-date.

“Rainforest Action Network has decided it’s time to double down and hold JPMorgan Chase accountable” said Ruth Breech, Senior Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “As a bank that is keen to be seen as a leading funder of renewables –– we are determined to make sure it’s known to the public that through its support for tar sands and other extreme fossil fuels, JPMorgan Chase is a leading funder of climate change and abuses of Indigenous rights.”

JPMorgan Chase is financing all four highly controversial proposed tar sands pipelines –– Transcanada’s Keystone XL and Energy East; Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain and Enbridge’s Line 3. The science is clear: any new tar sands infrastructure is incompatible with the Paris Climate goals to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 degree Celsius. More than 150 First Nations and Tribes, constituting the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, oppose all tar sands pipelines, which threaten traditional lands and watersheds and undermine the Indigenous right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. A range of other Indigenous, environmental and community groups are also holding the bank accountable for its tar sands financing.

“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.”

Today, Jamie Dimon’s visit to Denver was met with two actions calling for JPMorgan Chase to defund tar sands. 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 corporate office to protest the bank’s financing of tar sands oil, fracking in Colorado, and fossil fuel mega-infrastructure projects and pipelines.

“It’s clear that the biggest driver of climate change is fossil fuel production and consumption, and the financial sector plays a critical role in supporting that industry,” said Jason Opeña Disterhoft, Senior Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network. “Financial institutions have the power to shape our energy future, and it’s up to us to shape our financial institutions by calling for change.”