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The Council supports call for TD to divest from Dakota Access Pipeline

Photo by AJ Klein.

The Council of Canadians was at an Indigenous-led action today to draw attention to TD Securities investments in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is being built by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners and Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. (which owns a US$1.5 billion share in the pipeline). The pipeline could carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of fracked oil from North Dakota to Illinois. It would cross 200 waterways, including under the Missouri River, upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe reservation in North Dakota (which draws its drinking water from that river). Presently, there are about 3,000 land defenders gathered on Standing Rock territory blocking the construction of the pipeline.

Ricochet reports, “Three Canadian banks [TD Securities, Scotiabank and RBC] are among the more than two dozen financial institutions identified as backers of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline and its associated companies. The pipeline has been the focus of intense opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, who fear that a spill would poison their water supply, as well as from other Native Americans, Indigenous peoples in Canada, and environmentalists.”

It adds, “TD subsidiary TD Securities, an investigation has revealed, is one of the seventeen banks that have provided project-level loans to Dakota Access LLC. It has the seventh largest commitment ($360 million) out of these seventeen banks. …TD Securities is also financing Sunoco Logistics, a member of the Energy Transfer corporate family, and two of its companies (Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners) partly own the joint venture of Dakota Access LLC.”

That article also highlighted, “A protest is planned outside a TD Canada Trust in Vancouver on Sep. 12 and organizers are ‘demanding that these banks and lenders cut off all lines of credit to the pipeline companies and stop funding the DAPL.'” Council of Canadians organizer AJ Klein, who was at today’s protest, tells us that at least two people closed their TD accounts during the action this morning. Water campaigner Emma Luis was also at the protest.

TD Securities says, “TD supports responsible energy development. We employ due diligence in our lending and investing activities relating to energy production. We also work with our customers, community and environment groups, and energy clients to better understand key issues of concern, and to promote informed dialogue. Our oil and gas sector lending represents less than 1% of our total lending portfolio.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the construction of the pipeline on July 25, construction began on August 10, and the water protection protests began on August 15. On September 9, the U.S. government announced that it was temporarily halting work on the project within 30 kilometres east or west of Lake Oahe, explaining that the concerns raised by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe necessitated a reconsideration of previous decisions regarding the site. Energy Transfer Partners had previously vowed the 1,700 kilometre long pipeline will be completed by the end of this year.

To read the full Ricochet article about the involvement of Canadian banks in the Dakota Access Pipeline, please click here.

#RezpectOurWater #NoDAPL #DakotaAccessPipeline