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Boycott These Banks Financing Attacks on Native American Protesters

The Standing Rock Sioux tribes gathering to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline are not only taking on the fossil fuel industry, but also the world’s biggest banks.

A groundbreaking investigation by Food & Water Watch has identified the main financial backers of the Bakken Pipeline project, which would carry as many as 570,000 barrels of crude oil through 1,100 miles of pipeline across four states every day. Indigenous tribes putting their bodies on the line to stop construction argue that the pipeline could rupture and poison drinking water supplies and sacred lands protected by generations of Sioux. Dozens of indigenous activists were attacked this weekend by private security contractors using attack dogs and pepper spray.

Recent oil pipeline leaks show that fears of a rupture are not unfounded. As recently as June 23 of this year, an oil pipeline in California burst, spilling up to 45,000 gallons of crude oil near a local high school. This past weekend, 5,300 gallons of crude oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after a pipeline near the Louisiana coastline was struck by a dredging company.

In addition to the oil companies that would profit from the pipeline, a multitude of financial institutions funding the pipeline’s construction stand to see a massive windfall should the Dakota Access Pipeline be built. According to Food & Water Watch, almost 40 different financial institutions are playing a significant role in financing Energy Transfer Partners’ construction of the pipeline:

Energy Transfer Partners has a revolving credit line of $3.75 billion toward expanding its oil and gas infrastructure holdings, with commitments from just 26 banks.


Sunoco Logistics has a credit line with $2.5 billion in commitments from just 24 banks.


Energy Transfer Equity has a credit line with another $1.5 billion in commitments from most of the same big international banks.

All told, that’s $10.25 billion in loans and credit facilities from 38 banks directly supporting the companies building the pipeline.

Food & Water Watch also assembled this graph to show all the banks that are financing each corporate entity behind the pipeline project:


The fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline is similar to the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline, which President Barack Obama ultimately rejected after thousands of people put their bodies in the way of construction, with many arrested, and some even enduring police brutality.

Food & Water Watch also pointed out that the proposed route for Keystone XL and the proposed route for the Dakota Access Pipeline are both remarkably similar to one another. The Keystone XL pipeline would have ran from Edmonton, Alberta through North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska before moving east to Southern Illinois, where it would then be sent to the Texas Gulf Coast to be shipped overseas. The Dakota Access Pipeline also runs through North Dakota and South Dakota, then Southeast through Iowa, before stopping in Southern Illinois. From there, it would be transported by train to the Texas Gulf Coast.



Here is a full list of the banks helping build the Dakota Access Pipeline:

  • Bank of Nova Scotia
  • Citizens Bank
  • Comerica Bank
  • US Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • Barclays
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Bank of America
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Compass Bank
  • Credit Suisse
  • DNB Capital/ASA
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Bank
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • UBS
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Community Trust
  • HSBC Bank
  • Wells Fargo
  • BNP Paribas
  • SunTrust
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ
  • Mizuho Bank
  • Citibank
  • TD Securities
  • ABN Amro Capital
  • Credit Agracole
  • Intesa Sanpaolo
  • ING Bank
  • Natixis
  • BayernLB
  • BBVA Securities
  • DNB First Bank
  • ICBC London
  • SMBC Nikko Securities
  • Societe Generale


Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected], and follow his work on the Public Banking Institute blog.

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