Putting pressure on banks and investment firms like KKR has sometimes been successful in stopping the funding for fossil fuel projects. Often this pressure is applied by scheduling a specific date to coordinate actions across the country or world. There are several stories below about about other actions to defund fossil fuel projects that I was involved in.
Maybe you are usually at work now, but are instead at home because of the coronavirus. This is an opportunity to take advantage of this time, and help us #ShutDownKKR.
Today, March 23rd is the day (#ShutDownKKR) for online action targeting KKR.
KKR has plans to purchase 65% of the Coastal GasLink pipeline with Alberta Investment Management Corp (AIMCo). It’s a US-based private equity firm with an atrocious record of putting profits over employees, people, and the environment.
Over the past five years, TC Energy (formally Trans Canada) has tried to build the Coastal GasLink pipeline on Wet’suwet’en land, defiantly ignoring assertions from the hereditary chiefs of their rights and title and their lack of consent for the project.
The Coastal GasLink pipeline threatens Wet’suwet’en land, water, air, and people.
If we #ShutDownKKR, we can stop the financing of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline — but we need to mobilize online together right now.
Here’s what you can do to join the KKR communications blockade TODAY and #ShutDownKKR:
- Email KKR today by using our easy messaging tool by clicking here.
- Call KKR by dialing 1-888-593-5407 and following the instructions you hear from us. Need some talking points for your call? No problemo. See below.
- Tweet at @KKR_Co and tell them just how awful they are for ignoring Wet’suwet’en concerns about their rights, the climate, land air and water. Need some tweet inspiration? See below!
Why is this important right now? Well, this fight got even worse last week.
Despite the COVID-19 crisis, TC Energy is still going ahead with Coastal GasLink pipeline construction and sending more workers and federal police officers onto Wet’suwet’en territories, putting communities at even more risk. Billionaire oil and gas CEOs see the COVID-19 crisis as an opportunity to push through whatever they can when the world is looking the other way.
KKR must be held accountable for ignoring the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, putting Indigenous land and people at risk, endangering Indigenous women by building man camps along the route, and fueling the climate crisis.
#ShutDownKKR Call Script
“Hello KKR, I am calling to demand you respect Indigenous rights and the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, and drop the risky Coastal GasLink pipeline immediately. The Coastal GasLink project would lock us into decades of increased fracked gas, disregarding the lack of consent by Wet’suwet’en community and the impacts to climate, air, water and the risks posed to indigenous women by man camps built along the route.”
#ShutDownKKR Sample Tweets
- Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs are being removed from their land so @TCEnergy can build the Coastal GasLink pipeline, despite having rights and title to the land since time immemorial! @KKR_Co, is it typically your policy to invest in Indigenous rights violations..? #ShutDownKKR
- Hey @KKR_Co, your Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Responsible Investment Policy, and commitment to the @UN_SDG goals doesn’t seem to fit with kicking the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs off their territory by investing in @CoastalGasLink’s pipeline. Care to explain? #KKRGlobalImpact
- .@KKR_Co, why are you funding the Coastal GasLink pipeline? Terminate your pending purchase with @TCEnergy and respect the land rights of the Wet’suwet’en Nation!
Following are a few of the other pipeline divestment campaigns I’ve been involved in.
November 19, 2015
Today is the national day of action against Morgan Stanley, with people all across the country calling their offices to try to get them to stop financing fossil fuel development, especially mountain top removal. More information, including phone numbers for the Indianapolis office, can be found here. Please call, thank you.
(SAN FRANCISCO, November 30, 2015) — Today, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo released new commitments to cut financing for the global coal industry. Wells Fargo’s policy committed to reduce the bank’s lending to coal mining companies. Morgan Stanley’s policy went further, covering both lending and underwriting, and committing to end financing for coal-fired power plant construction in developed countries.Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Cut Coal Financing, Join Growing Movement by Banks in U.S. and Europe
UPDATED 12/1/2015: I called the Indianapolis Morgan Stanley offices and left a message for Joseph Kelley, the branch manager who met with us, thanking him for meeting with us, and Morgan Stanley for changing their policy. https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/morgan-stanley-stops-financing-coal/
Following is another story about defunding fossil fuel projects that was published in Befriending Creation, the publication of Quaker Earthcare Witness. https://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/one-dollar-time-defunding-dapl
One Dollar at a Time: Defunding DAPL
IN INDIANAPOLIS we have been working on defunding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) for several months. On November 15, 2016, a crowd of about 200 of us alongside Native Americans in traditional dress marched through downtown Indianapolis with our signs about defunding the pipeline. We stopped in front of two of the banks involved with funding the pipeline, Chase and PNC Bank. The crowd stood in silence as people went in to close their accounts. That day the group withdrew $110,000 dollars.
Yet my own effort to close my account was much more difficult than I thought it would be.
Because of administrative changes, I first had a lot of trouble getting the forms to change my paycheck to direct deposit. It took time to set up paying bills. Also, I realized that I had initially chosen Chase bank because they had the most ATM locations. This was important because I don’t own a car. There can be major inconveniences from defunding. I did it anyway.
I went down to the Circle in the center of downtown Indianapolis where the Chase Tower dominates the Indianapolis skyline. I spent about an hour walking around the Circle with my sign, looking to see if anyone else had shown up from my local group. It is a little nerve wracking to be walking around by yourself like that, but, for better or worse, no one looks directly at you or engages you, for the most part.
I had finally worked up the courage to enter the Chase Bank Tower to close my account. I had no idea what the reaction to entering with my sign would be. I just held it at my side, and then placed it next to my chair as I waited. The bank officer greeted me with a smile and said someone would be with me shortly. He came back after about ten minutes to say he appreciated my patience—it was a busy time.
Mostly people coming into the bank ignored me, but there were a number of glances in my direction.
When I was shown into the banker’s office, she saw my sign, smiled, put her hands together and bowed to me, and said, “We are on the same page with this.” She put her finger to her lips with a smile indicating she shouldn’t be saying that, officially. She was very pleasant and helpful. When I left, she took my hand in both of hers.
As I was walking past the lobby officer when I left, I reached out my hand, which he took in both of his hands, giving me a big smile and a little bow as well. I told him I appreciated his patience with my freedom of speech, and he smiled and said, “Of course.”
My little bit was added to the total amount of personal money divested so far: $72,944,005.39 dollars according to defunddapl.org.
I felt a transfer of goodwill between me and those in the bank to such an extent that I returned later in the week to drop off three copies of the blog article I had written describing how well they had treated me and the whole defunding process. When the banker I had dealt with previously glanced up, she gave me a big smile and waved me in. She got up and again took my hand in hers and asked what she could do for me. She told me she and her husband had talked about our visit and the pipeline.
This is how our stories spread.
During meeting for business in February at North Meadow Circle of Friends, the meeting approved closing its Chase Bank account in solidarity with the #noDAPL movement.
Jeff was born into the Bear Creek meeting community in rural Iowa, which is part of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative), where he currently serves as clerk of the Yearly Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee. He attended Scattergood Friends School and Farm and currently attends North Meadow Circle of Friends in Indianapolis.
I recently wrote about US Bank saying they were going to stop funding fossil fuel projects, but who then extended further credit to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. They justified that by saying that loan was NOT to fund a specific project.
US Bancorp is the parent company of US Bank. Since US Bancorp’s headquarters are in Minneapolis, and the Super Bowl was going to be held in the US Bank stadium there, environmental and social justice groups realized the opportunities to reach large numbers of people during the Super Bowl weekend.
I traveled to Minneapolis the day before the game with a group organized by Ed Fallon of Bold Iowa. We left Des Moines at 7:00 am and arrived at the MN350 (Minnesota branch of 350.org) at 11:30.
Here is the link to the rest of the story: https://kislingjeff.wordpress.com/2018/02/05/super-bowl-and-justice/