February 20, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – More than 130 socially responsible investors – representing $653 billion in assets – sent a joint statement to banks throughout the world who are financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. In the statement, they encourage the banks to “address or support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for a reroute of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to avoid their treaty territory.”
Among the signatories of the statement are Kathleen Woods, Chair of the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board; Sister Judy Byron, OP, of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment; and representatives of other Congregations of Dominican Sisters and other communities of women religious.
The Standing Rock tribe had actively and peacefully opposed the pipeline’s projected route, which “crosses their drinking water, sacred sites, and treaty territory,” the investors note in their statement. The Sioux at Standing Rock had gained a victory in December when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the necessary easement to complete the project. President Donald Trump, however, directed the Army Corps of Engineers to approve the grant the easement.
“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,” the investors write. Banks that are tied to the project, they add, could face “long-term brand and reputational damage resulting from consumer boycotts and possible legal liability.”