victory

For Immediate Release: City to seek out banks not funding KXL!

Seattle, WA: This afternoon, after dozens of Seattle residents gave passionate testimony in favor of a resolution introduced by Council Member Kshama Sawant, the City Council voted unanimously to seek out financial institutions that do not provide TransCanada or the Keystone XL pipeline with project-level loans.

Activists say this is another win in an ongoing battle to make sure that public money doesn’t help to fund catastrophic projects. Last month, after strong public pressure, the City of Seattle voted to end its $3 billion relationship with Wells Fargo, due in part to the bank’s funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

One of the most controversial infrastructure projects ever proposed, Keystone XL was approved for construction by the Trump Administration a week ago; it would transport over 800,000 barrels of tar sands bitumen a day from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf of Mexico.

Activists say there is a host of reasons that the project can’t be allowed to move forward, and over 100 First Nations and tribes have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, which states that “our Nations hereby join together under the present treaty to officially prohibit and to agree to collectively challenge and resist the use of our respective territories and coasts in connection with the expansion of the production of the Alberta Tar Sands, including for the transport of such expanded production, whether by pipeline, rail or tanker.”

‘Today’s victory is another step towards release from fossil fuel dependency,” says Muckleshoot tribal member Rachel Heaton. “Not only to say No to KXL and all fossil fuel projects, but again to acknowledge that the treaty rights of indigenous people are still being violated and ignored; that Mother Earth, our health, and wellbeing is not of concern; nor is the future of our coming generations. It is crucial that we don’t forget what the Earth is contributing to our very existence… actions like today are what is needed to sustain it.”

“I’m currently facing felony charges for shutting down a tar sands pipeline in Minnesota,” adds 350 Seattle’s Emily Johnston. “But there’s more than one way to end these disastrous projects. They’re risky projects, and weak right now–we can help to stop them. The City of Seattle has the power to help end business-as-usual in tar sands development, which will otherwise be the end of us. We therefore have a great responsibility. We must move forward boldly, and we must do it now.”

In 2014, the President of the Rosebud Sioux, Cyril Scott, called Keystone XL an “act of war” perpetrated by the United States government on the Sioux Peoples.