Bank Investors Want Dakota Access Pipeline Rerouted

Statement sent to banks says DAPL should not risk water contamination


February 24, 2017

More than 120 investors have written a statement to banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline advising them to promote a new route: "We call on the banks to address or support the Tribe's request for a reroute and utilize their influence as a project lender to reach a peaceful solution that is acceptable to all parties, including the Tribe."

The investors, representing $653 billion in managed assets, fear an escalation of conflict and contamination of the water supply to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Several municipalities across the nation have already voted to withdraw assets from banks that are financing the construction of the pipeline.

The approved pipeline route goes under the Missouri river which is the only source of water for the tribe. An earlier route proposal was rejected for posing the same kind of water source threat to the city of Bismarck, ND.

With the Missouri as a major contributor to the Mississippi, a leak could poison waters all the way to New Orleans.

The investor's statement says they "support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request for a reroute of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that avoids their treaty territory." The land use territory of the tribe, based on a 1851 treaty, extends far beyond the borders of the reservation. A 1980 Supreme Court decision (United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371, 388) upheld the tribe's control of lands now being claimed for use by Dakota Access.

The tribe has objected to the pipeline since at least 2014, primarily through the courts, with on-the-ground "water protectors" camped out since April of 2016. DAPL has used both private and state police to fight the peaceful protesters with an assortment of weapons, including pepper spray, rubber bullets, and attack dogs. They have even sneaked in at early morning hours to plow under sites that were scheduled for for archeological review as native burial grounds. Reporters trying to cover the events have been arrested and charged with a variety of crimes.

The Standing Rock have received global support for their efforts, with protests erupting in many major cities, and representatives from indigenous peoples across the planet visiting the protest encampment.

President Donald Trump, apparently living in a corporate bubble and oblivious to the real world, cheerfully signed paperwork to accelerate the construction by avoiding required environmental reviews. "As you know, I approved two pipelines that were stuck in limbo forever," he said, adding "I don't even think it was controversial."

Legal challenges by both the Standing Rock tribe and the Cheyenne River Reservation further downstream have halted construction on the territorial lands, but construction has resumed below the contested area. Dakota Access believes that if they get enough pipeline built, they will be able to convince the courts to allow completion on the basis of economic loss.

Perhaps they have underestimate the power of a resistance that can undermine economic support.

Below is the text of the letter written by bank investors:

Investor Statement to Banks Financing the Dakota Access Pipeline

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (Mitsubishi UFJ), BayernLB (Bayerische Landesbank), BBVA (BancoBilbao Vizcaya Argentaria), BNP Paribas, Citibank (Citigroup), Crédit Agricole, DNB, ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mizuho Bank (Mizuho Financial Group), Natixis, Société Générale, SMBC (Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group), SunTrust Bank, TD Securities (Toronto-Dominion Bank), Wells Fargo

The undersigned investors, representing $653 billion in assets under management, encourage the banks listed above to address or support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's request for a reroute of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) that avoids their treaty territory1. We believe this is warranted to protect the banks' reputation and consumer base and to avoid legal liabilities. As investors we are very concerned by the reputational and potential financial risks due to these banks being associated with DAPL.

Since 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has opposed DAPL's projected route, which crosses their drinking water, sacred sites, and treaty territory. The Tribe has further noted that development of the projected route did not meet the international standard for consultation for Free, Prior, and Informed Consent and there have been serious and credible allegations of irregularities regarding the environmental review for DAPL. We understand a number of the banks listed above have commissioned a report by Foley Hoag on the adequacy of the consultation process followed by Energy Transfer Partners, the lead project developer. In December 2016, the US Army Corps of Engineers denied Energy Transfer Partners the easement needed to complete construction, and announced plans to prepare an environmental impact statement and explore alternative routes. Following President Trump's issuance of a memorandum directing approval, the Army Corps abruptly shifted course and on February 8th granted the final easement required for DAPL's current project route. The Tribe has vowed to fight any alteration of the environmental review process in court.

We are concerned that if DAPL's projected route moves forward, the result will almost certainly be an escalation of conflict and unrest as well as possible contamination of the water supply. North Dakota state and local governments have spent over $22 million on law enforcement costs since August 2016, and demonstrators have already been arrested and cleared from the area with considerable use of force.

Banks with financial ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline may be implicated in these controversies and may face long-term brand and reputational damage resulting from consumer boycotts and possible legal liability. As major shareowners of these banks, we are very concerned about the financial risks this poses to the investments we oversee and to those whom we serve as fiduciaries. To date, we understand that consumers have closed bank accounts worth over $53 million-and are threatening to pull another $2.3 billion- from the banks financing DAPL. We note that ABN AMRO announced recently it would discontinue its lending relationship to Energy Transfer Equity if "an acceptable non-violent solution [is not] found among all parties impacted by the construction of the DAPL, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe."

We understand that the banks providing the project finance have contractual obligations to DAPL, but the extreme controversy tied to the project warrants their urgent action. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has repeatedly stated that they do not oppose energy independence, and would be amenable to a reroute of the Dakota Access Pipeline that avoids their treaty territory. We call on the banks to address or support the Tribe's request for a reroute and utilize their influence as a project lender to reach a peaceful solution that is acceptable to all parties, including the Tribe.

Date – February 16, 2017 Time – 7:30 PM EST

Signature list below.

1 The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's treaty territory extends well beyond the borders of its reservation. In its 1980 decision United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, 448 U.S. 371, 388, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Standing Rock Sioux territories (including Lake Oahe) were wrongly removed from the Tribe's control by the U.S. government and recognized its claim. The U.S. government offered compensation, but the Tribe did not accept the offer as a replacement for control of the territory.

Geeta Aiyer, CFA

President and Founder

Boston Common Asset Management, LLC

Matthew Smith

Head of Sustainable Investments

Storebrand Asset Management

John Streur

President and CEO

Calvert Research and Management

Anne Simpson

Investment Director, Sustainability

California Public Employees' Retirement System

New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer,

on behalf of the New York City Teachers' Retirement System,

the New York City Employees' Retirement System,

the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund,

and the Board of Education Retirement System of the City of New York

Kathleen Woods

Chair, Corporate Responsibility Committee

Adrian Dominican Sisters, Portfolio Advisory Board

Dr. Jeffrey Haggray

Executive Director

American Baptist Home Mission Societies

Danielle Fugere


As You Sow

Colette Murphy

Executive Director

Atkinson Foundation

Daniel Simard

Chief Executive Officer


Karen Shoffner


Castellum Capital Group

Stephen Viederman


Christopher Reynolds Foundation

Shelley Alpern

Director of Social Research & Shareholder Advocacy

Clean Yield Asset Management

Laura Livoti


Common Counsel Foundation

Ellen Friedman

Executive Director

Compton Foundation

Sister Sally Ann Brickner, OSF

Coordinator of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes

Margaret Weber

Corporate Responsibility Director

Congregation of St. Basil

Karen Watson, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

Congregation of St. Joseph

Suzanne Benally

Executive Director

Cultural Survival

Sister Louise Gallahue, D.C.


Daughters of Charity, Province of St Louise

Tory Dietel Hopps

Managing Partner


Susan Vickers

Dignity Health

Adam Kanzer

Managing Director

Domini Impact Investments LLC

Sister Mary Brigid Clingman OP

Promoter of Justice

Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids

Valerie Heinonen

Director, Shareholder Advocacy

Dominican Sisters of Hope

Eileen Gannon

Executive Team Member

Dominican Sisters of Sparkill

Steve Zielinski


Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL

Adam Wolfensohn

Co-Managing Partner

Encourage Capital

Jeff Pym

Executive Director

Evangelical Lutheran Foundation of Eastern Canada

Chris Meyer

Manager, Advocacy and Research

Everence and the Praxis Mutual Funds

Leadership Team of Our Lady of Hope Province

Felician Sisters of North America, Inc.

Taylor Reed


Figure 8 Investment Strategies

Steven J. Schueth


First Affirmative Financial Network

Mecky Kessler-Howell

AIF, Financial Advisor

FOR Investment Partners

Jeffery W. Perkins

Executive Director

Friends Fiduciary Corporation

Thomas G. Kemper

General Secretary

General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church

Katherine Smail

Executive Director

Glasswaters Foundation

Neva Goodwin


Global Development and Environment Institute

Fran Teplitz

Executive Co-director

Green America

Brianna Harrington

Research Analyst/Shareholder Advocacy Coordinator

Harrington Investments, Inc.

Tim Goodman

Director Hermes EOS

Hermes Investment Management

Jo-Annie Pinto

Vice President, Client Services & Business Development


Johann Klaassen

Chief Invesment Officer

Horizons Sustainable Financial Services

Patricia Grant, IBVM

Provincial Leader, Canada

IBVM Foundation of Canada Inc. (Loretto Sisters)

Josh Zinner


Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Christine Jantz


Jantz Management LLC

Peter Bisson, SJ

Provincial Supervisor

Jesuits in English Canada

Jeffrey Scales

Managing Principal

JSA Financial Group

Zoe Fuller-Rowell

Executive Director

Kalliopeia Foundation

Jennifer Lazarus

Lazarus Financial Planning

Jennifer Hall


Leadership Team of Sisters of Providence, Mother Joseph Province

Deirdre Mary McElroy

Financial Planner Public Speaker

LPL Financial

Cathy Rowan

Corporate Responsibility Coordinator

Maryknoll Sisters

Lisa Heinz


Mennonite Education Agency

Molly Murphy

Chief Investment Officer

Mercy Health

Valerie Heinonen, OSU

Director of Shareholder Advocacy

Mercy Investment Services, Inc.

Barbara L Meyer


Meyer Family Enterprises

Barbara Jennings


Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment Fr Seamus Finn OMI

Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Michael Kramer

Managing Partner

Natural Investments

Cliff Fregin

Chief Executive Officer

New Relationship Trust

Bruce T. Herbert, AIF

Chief Executive

Newground Social Investment

Julie Goodridge


NorthStar Asset Management, Inc.

Judy Byron, OP

Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment

Fr. Ken Forster OMI

Provincial OMI Lacombe

Oblates of Mary Immaculate Lacombe Province Canada

Susan White

Trust Director

Oneida Trust Enrollment Committee, Oneida Nation

Sr. Frances Brady

Congregational Leader

Our Ladies Missionaries

Jerome L. Dodson

CEO & Chairman

Parnassus Investments

Marcus Robertson

Pension Board Chair

Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada

Rob Fohr

Director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement

Presbyterian Church U.S.A.

Catherine Cartier


Progressive Asset Management

John Koelle, OFM Cap

Chair-Socially Responsible Investment Committee

Province of St. Mary of the Capuchin Order

Leigh Sherry

Business Manager

Redemptoristine Nuns

Jo Marie Chrosniak, HM


Region VI Coalition for Responsible Investment

Alex Haber

Program Manager, Philanthropic Services

RSF Social Finance

Patti B. Dolan

Portfolio Manager

SAGE Investment Advisors of Raymond James Ltd.

Mary Kay Henry


SEIU Affiliates Pension Fund

Peter Chapman

Executive Director

Shareholder Association for Research and Education (SHARE)

Richard W. Torgerson


SharePower Responsible Investing, Inc.

Dan Chu

Executive Director

Sierra Club Foundation

Timothy Simon


Simon Products

Mary Beth Hamm, SSJ

Coordinator: Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation

Sisters of Bon Secours, USA

James Weber

SC SRC Committee Chair

Sisters of Charity Cincinnati

Barbara Joseph Lammers

Corporate Responsibility Coordinator

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

Carol De Angelo

Director of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation

Sisters of Charity of New York

Mary Burns, SC


Sisters of Charity, Halifax

Denece Billesberger, sej


Sisters of Instruction of the Child Jesus

Sister Colleen Dauerbach SSJ

Social Justice Coordinator

Sisters of Saint Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia

Kathleen A Donnelly, SU

Regional Treasurer

Sisters of Saint Ursula

Denise Granger, SSJ

Coordinator Office of Justice and Peace

Sisters of St Joseph of Springfield

Sr. Joan Agro, OP

Leadership Team Councilor

Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, N.Y.

Sister Patricia Daly OP

Corporate Responsibility Representative

Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell NJ

Nora Nash

Director, Corporate Social Responsibility

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

Patricia Mahoney

Finance Committee

Sisters of St. Joseph

Marie Lenihan

Finance Committee

Sisters of St. Joseph

Eileen McCann

Province Leadership

Sisters of St. Joseph

Elizabeth Cawley

Justice Promoter

Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston

Mary Rita Rohde, snjm


Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary

Mary Ellen Holohan, snjm

Congregational leadership Team Member

Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary SNJM

Sr. Carole Anne Griswold, HM

Community Treasurer

Sisters of the Humility of Mary

Linda Hincken


Sisters of the Order of St. Dominic

Ruth Geraets


Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM, Aberdeen SD

Anna Falkenberg

Socially Responsible Investment Coalition

Danielle Jezienicki

Impact Analyst

Sonen Capital

Gary Matthews


SRI Investing LLC

Sister Ethel Howley

Social Responsibility Resource Person

SSND Cooperative Investment Fund

Stephen Whipp

Managing Director, Responsible Asset Management

Stephen Whipp Financial

John F. Swift


Swift Foundation

Mary Corkery


The Catherine Donnelly Foundation

Sanjay Kabir Bavikatte

Executive Director

The Christensen Fund

Sr. Jean Gove


The Daly Foundation

The Reverend Canon Brian J. Grieves

Chair, Executive Council Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility, The Episcopal Church

Regan Pritzker

Board president

The Libra Foundation

Richard Walters

Director Corporate Social Responsibility

The Pension Boards - UCC, Inc.

Larisa Ruoff

Director of Shareholder Advocacy and Corporate Engagement

The Sustainability Group of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge

Erik Mathiesen

Chief Financial Officer

The United Church of Canada

Terrence Meck


Threshold Foundation

Judith Hill



Tom Bennigson


Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund

Anne Amanda Bangasser

Managing Director

Treehouse Investments

Jonas Kron

Senior Vice President

Trillium Asset Management, LLC

Jody Wise

Socially responsible investment consultant

Trinity Health

Mary Beth Gallagher

Executive Director

Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment

Timothy Brennan

Treasurer & CFO

Unitarian Universalist Association

Kathryn McCloskey

Director, Social Responsibility

United Church Funds

Harriett J. Olson

Chief Executive Officer

United Methodist Women

Sister Karen Gleeson

General Treasurer

Ursuline Religious of the Diocese of London in Ontario

Valerie Heinonen

Director, Shareholder Advocacy

Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province

Derek Gent

Executive Director

Vancity Community Foundation

Dermot Foley

Portfolio Manager - ESG Analysis

Vancity Investment Management Ltd.

Hans-Martin Buhlmann


VIP Association of Institutional Shareholders

VIP (Vereinigung Institutionelle Privatanleger)

John Schwartz



Heidi Soumerai

Managing Director

Walden Asset Management

Ellen Dorsey

Executive Director

Wallace Global Fund

Kirsty Jenkinson

Managing Director, Sustainable Investment Strategies

Wespath Benefits and Investments

Sonia Kowal


Zevin Asset Management

Gwen Broz, DO

Sr. Jane Quinlan, OSU

Signatory List – as of February 17, 2017 (10 AM EST)


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