TO: Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase
CC: Board of Directors, JPMorgan Chase, and Seattle branch managers
Dear Mr. Dimon—
We are here today because we are deeply distressed by the bank’s involvement in financing the extraction and transport of Canadian tar sands.
As one of the two lead banks arranging the $5bn revolving credit for TransCanada in December, Chase is essential to the construction of Keystone XL. As you may recall from the first fight over KXL, former NASA climatologist Jim Hansen said in 2011 that if the tar sands are exploited, it’s “game over” for the climate. As you may also know, Rosebud Sioux Chairman Cyril Scott said in 2014 that the tribe would consider the pipeline an “act of war”.
We know that loaning to such projects is normal business practice. We also know that if we continue with currently normal business practice, we are in the last decade or two of a reasonably stable planet. This is not a controversial truth. According to a recent analysis by Carbon Brief, we now have only four years left if we wish to have even a 2/3 chance of staying below 1.5°C of warming—which we assuredly do, given that current levels of warming have already triggered terrible processes, and caused droughts, wars, and hideous storms. When they say we have four years, they don’t mean that in four years we have to get serious about reducing our fossil fuel use. They mean that at current rates of emissions, in four years, we have to stop if we want to avoid widespread tragedy.
Under these circumstances, building new fossil fuel infrastructure is absurd–especially pipelines for tar sands, the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet: if we use them for the decades required for a return on the investment, we risk the end of human civilization.
There comes a time when what was once considered normal–be it slavery, a sweatshop, or sexual harassment–is seen to be profoundly immoral. When it comes to protecting a livable planet for our children, we have come to that moment.
Given the stakes, we cannot allow business as usual. Our demand is simple: issue a public statement that you will not fund the Keystone XL pipeline, or any new tar sands infrastructure project. Until you do so, we see it as our responsibility to do all we can to highlight your involvement in this devastating project–and on May 8, we will shut down branches throughout the city.
The Pledge of Resistance, 350 Seattle