U.S. Bank likes to think of itself as an ethical bank that takes climate change seriously, yet they continue to provide billions of dollars in financing to the coal and oil industries, as outlined Financing Climate Chaos a report released in October, 2015. This includes extensive financing for Enbridge Energy, the company behind the Alberta Clipper “secret Keystone” tar sands oil pipeline here in MN.
While many big banks are responding to popular demands to divest from coal, U.S. Bank has failed to respond to demands to divest from coal or tar sands oil, despite growing evidence that these industries are on their way out.
MN350 is working to expose U.S. Banks relationship to dirty energy, in partnership with a local coalition of racial and economic justice organizations called Minnesotans for a Fair Economy (MFE), an innovative alliance of strategic partnerships across labor, faith, and community-based organizations, that has garnered national attention.
Together, we are calling on U.S. Bank to put their money where their mouth is and stop enabling the fossil fuel industry. Instead, we have asked them to finance an accessible and equitable transition to renewable energy through projects such as community solar gardens. We are standing with MFE in calling on U.S. Bank to support policies that benefit working families, cease investment in predatory lending and minimize foreclosures, and protect the health of our communities, water and climate.
On February 16th, we will deliver pledges of community members and faith organizations that have committed to move their money out of U.S. Bank, if they refuse to take responsibility for their harmful lending practices.
Banks are in a unique position to help stop fossil fuel extraction and speed the transition to a sustainable economy. Now that fossil fuel companies are losing money, filing for bankruptcy, and laying off workers, we have the opportunity to help banks break their fossil fuel addiction. Join us on February 16th as we call on U.S. Bank to follow through on its climate commitment and safeguard the health of our communities.