Don’t make grandmothers do all the heavy lifting here!
- Action #1: Call Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
- Action #2: Email Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
- Action #3: Grandmother letter-writing campaign to Dr. Jill Biden
- Related action: Call to legislators and email to Biden here.
Action #1: Call Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
There is an actual deadline. On July 23, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America & Royal Bank of Canada have a major decision to make: renew $4.6 billion in loans to Enbridge, or walk away from Line 3.
Join in “Stop the Money Pipeline’s” well-designed campaign to contact any or all of their CEOs here. You can fill out their form and they’ll even dial the numbers for you automatically.
They’ve helpfully included tips for making your calls more effective and a short script to get you started.
Action #2: Email Wall Street Banks to Defund Line 3
You can email the CEO’s anytime. This is a great addition to the phone calls, especially if you have a lot to say. (Note: We ALWAYS have a lot to say.) If you can personalize this issue, that makes the impact of your message even stronger.
- Jane Fraser (Citibank CEO) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jamie Dimon (Chase CEO) email@example.com
- David McKay (Royal Bank of Canada, CEO) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brian Moynihan (Bank of America, CEO) email@example.com
- Margo Pilic (Citibank, Chief of Staff, Office of CEO) firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Script: I am writing you today as I am greatly concerned about the fact that [[NAME OF BANK]] is funding the Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
On July 22nd and 23rd, three major loans to Enbridge, the company behind Line 3, are due for renewal, and I wanted to ask that your bank not renew those loans. I know you’ve heard already that the Line 3 expansion would have the same climate impact as creating and operating 50 new coal-fired power plants for 30-50 years. Despite well-funded climate-change denialism, there is no longer doubt that fossil fuel has helped warm our climate, most recently demonstrated in heat domes which killed hundreds of people last week in usually temperate areas both here and in Canada. It’s upsetting to me that [[NAME OF BANK]] is funding a project like this
I’m asking you and the CEO’s of four other banks to do the right thing and stop…
[You can stop here and sign your name, or you can add on…remarks can include how climate change has affected you or those you know personally. You can also mention if you are one of their customers.]
Stop funding the expansion of what is termed “most environmentally destructive project on earth.” Your money fuels the strip-mining of Canadian tar sands, which has caused environmental damage to Canada’s arborial forests, acid rain, air pollution, and high rates of rare cancers to their local indigenous population. Tar sand extraction and refinement is a dirty process – if it’s mined, it creates billions of gallons of contaminated water that can kill migrating birds while sitting in tailing ponds prone to leakage into drinking water. If it’s removed with Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD), it creates greenhouse gas emissions, as oil companies have to burn natural gas to access the oil.
Stop funding pipeline disasters. Pipelines leak, all the time. (map here) This was most dramatically demonstrated when the ocean was set on fire by a gas line leak in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico last week. Pipelines moving tar sands oil are at particular risk, as a study showed that they spilled three times more per mile than the U.S. national average for pipelines carrying conventional crude. Keystone XL builder TransCanada has had 13 spills in the last six years. Their Keystone 1 Pipeline, which leaked almost 400,000 barrels of oil. Kinder Morgan, builder of the Trans Mountain pipeline in the Pacific Northwest, has had 213 spills.
Stop funding Enbridge. This company that has had over 147 spills, the largest of which was a 2010 spill near Marshall, Michigan that dumped more than 1 million gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River. Tar sands oil, which sinks to the bottom and is particularly hard to remove, flowed freely for 17 hours and reached 40 miles downriver. Cleanup efforts took over 6 years, and cost over $1.2 billion dollars. Enbridge had to buy out 154 homes, the river was permanently disfigured, and approximately five percent of the oil remains in the riverbed. If you renew their loans for the extension of Line 3, based on past history, you become morally responsible for an estimated future of 51 significant spills, any one of which could be a tragedy far larger than this.
Stop funding environmental racism and sacrifice zones. Not only are you potentially ignoring the treaty rights of the Anishinaabe peoples, your pipeline funding fuels a toxic byproduct business that negatively impacts low-income and minority neighborhoods. Tar sands oil is so dirty, that impurities, like carbon, sulfur and toxic heavy metals, must be extracted, which are then converted into a coal-like solid fuel called petroleum coke or “petcoke.” Refineries sell this unavoidable toxic waste product as a cheaper, less efficient, and much dirtier coal substitute. They used to store it in open pits in neighborhoods like southeast Chicago, coating everything nearby in black dust, including the lungs of local residents.
Stop funding the exportation of petcoke and environmental warming. By supporting Line 3’s expansion, you will be responsible for the associated increase in petcoke production, which can contain 20 times as much sulfur as coal. There is no US market large enough to absorb current production, so US refineries are offloading this environmental headache cheaply to more than 30 countries, contributing to global-warming for all of us and dangerous air pollution problems for them. In India, a big importer, about 1.1 million Indians die prematurely as a result of outdoor air pollution every year, according to the nonprofit Health Effects Institute and 50% of children in Delhi, approx. 2.2. million, have abnormalities in their lung function — asthma, bronchitis, a recurring spasmodic cough.
Stop funding climate change, death and environmental devastation. With the click of a mouse, we, the public, can now find out which banks are helping to push through trillions of dollars of loans and underwriting services to fossil-fuel companies whose oil, gas and coal projects poison our air and drinking water, pollute our farmland (which in turn kills farming jobs), and wreck our local environment. We can find out which funders don’t care that Line 3 violates Native American treaty rights and endangers the main water source for millions living near the Great Lakes. We can find out which institutions don’t care that kids halfway around the world can no longer take a full breath.
This is your chance to get ahead of what’s coming next. States and cities are now suing oil companies over climate change and the next logical step – suing the money behind them – has already begun. Belgian Central Bank is now being sued for “fueling the climate crisis” and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was sued in 2017 for misleading shareholders over the risks climate change poses to their business interests. This trend poses significant risks to financial institutions’ brands, reputations and bottom lines.
[Mr./Ms.____], why would your bank want to have its name associated with Line 3, a slow-motion environmental and social justice disaster in the making? Please, follow the lead of European Central Bank, which just announced that they were ending fossil finance. Take this time to redirect your funding to energy projects that not only foster long-term jobs, but a cleaner and more sustainable future for all of us.
“It’s a commodity that defies explanation (because) there’s not a financial market,” said Stuart Ehrenreich, an oil industry analyst who once managed petcoke export terminals for Koch Industries. “But at the end of the day, the coke has got to move.”
Just a note. There are fewer than a dozen big traders of this pollutant globally. Among the largest are Oxbow Energy Solutions and Koch Carbon, both led by members of the politically conservative and “climate-skeptical” Koch family. As of 2018, they have invested over $145 million dollars in 90 groups (names listed here) that have attacked climate change science and policy solutions since 1997.
Action #3: Grandmother letter-writing campaign to Dr. Jill Biden
WRITE LETTERS with 1000 Grandmothers. Join our Grandmother to Grandmother letter-writing campaign to Dr. Jill Biden, asking her to urge the President to stop the pipeline. Include a photo of a young person whose future you are concerned for. If you don’t identify as a grandmother, write to President Biden directly.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
You can also email the Bidens at https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Please shoot us an email to tell us that you have written and sent these two letters to the Bidens (and how many other people you have gotten to do likewise) email@example.com
Call to legislators and email to Biden: tinyurl.com/Fight-the-Exxon-11