I’m writing to urge you.. please tell Wells Fargo!
Do not fund the TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline (KXL). This pipeline is, simply put, a bad investment — TransCanada has already stated publicly that they are having a hard time finding shippers and the pipeline may not be economically viable. This pipeline also puts our climate, communities, water, and wildlife at risk while violating the rights of Indigenous peoples — problems that are directly out of line with your public commitments to climate action and Indigenous rights.
Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil — tar sands — every day from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would be responsible for annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to 37.7 million cars — a disaster for our climate. A report from the University of Nebraska determined that Keystone XL is likely to have 91 significant spills, putting water sources and wildlife habitat at risk along the entire 1,179-mile route. Keystone XL would cross the Ogallala Aquifer, which is one of the country’s largest sources of freshwater. A spill in the aquifer would threaten the drinking water for millions of Americans as well as the livelihood of local ranchers and farmers. The pipeline also lies within one mile of thousands of water wells in Nebraska, Montana, and South Dakota — putting even more people at risk of losing access to clean water. TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline recently spilled more than 200,000 gallons of oil showing that it’s not a matter of if, but when, a pipeline will spill.
You have also claimed that you value Indigenous rights, but your support for TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, is out of line with this commitment. Keystone XL would cut directly through Sioux treaty lands and near several other tribal reservations and the historic Ponca Trail of Tears, yet Tribal Nations in Nebraska and South Dakota have not been properly consulted. Instead, TransCanada failed to present a single witness during the Keystone XL hearings to address the damage this pipeline would cause to sacred and historic sites. That’s why five sovereign Indigenous nations in Nebraska signed a treaty opposing Keystone XL and tar sands development. More than 150 Tribes have signed on to this treaty, including every Tribe along the Keystone XL route from Canada to Nebraska, in opposition to this dangerous pipeline.
In 2015, you joined five other major financial institutions to issue a joint statement asking for climate commitments from world leaders negotiating what would become the Paris Climate Agreement. I applaud your efforts, but it’s clear your own business practices do not align with what you’ve asked of world leaders since you continue to fund fossil fuel development.
Right now, you have an opportunity to move away from the financial and reputational risks of Keystone XL. There are at least two credit facilities, totaling $1.5 billion, to TransCanada that Wells Fargo participates in that will come up for renewal this December 15th. Wells Fargo can end its role in these loans right away, and move to end all of its other investments in Keystone XL and the tar sands.
The world is watching to see whether Wells Fargo will choose to finance the continued violation of the rights of Indigenous people and exacerbation of climate change, or whether they will choose to lead by supporting clean energy and human rights. I urge you not to fund TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Thank you.
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