Sierra Club: FHB Losing $700K Due to Link with Pipeline
Across the Hawaiian Islands, residents are withdrawing their money from First Hawaiian Bank in an act of solidarity with those opposing construction of an oil pipeline under the Missouri River, known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Sierra Club of Hawai’i reported in a recent press release.
“We are withdrawing our funds from this bank because we are clear which side we are on,” said Kumu Hula Vicky Holt-Takamine of the PAʻI Foundation. “As Native Hawaiians, we stand with our native brothers and sisters at Standing Rock for the protection of our water against the fossil fuel industry. Now we are asking First Hawaiian Bank: Whose side are you on?”
Since the blockade against the DAPL began 10 months ago, dozens of Native Hawaiian community leaders have traveled to Standing Rock in a show of solidarity.
More than 20 local residents and organizations have committed to withdrawing over $700,000 so far from the bank because it is owned in significant part by BNP Paribas, an investment bank backing the pipeline construction. The goal is to withdraw $1 million by Dec. 31.
“Investment in this pipeline represents the destruction of our planet, contamination of water and loss of our traditional cultures. It represents the loss of our future,” said Addison Davis, a student with Wild Kids Hawaiʻi, who advocates against fossil fuel pipelines.
“As the next generation of leaders, we will inherit the consequences of the choices made today,” added Kennedy-Anne Marx, also a student with Wild Kids Hawaiʻi. “We are the ones that will see the detrimental effects of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. We stand with Standing Rock today because we want to see a world tomorrow where everyone has access to clean water and there is no risk of global warming.”
“Further investment in fossil fuel infrastructure like this oil pipeline in North Dakota is simply insane,” said Jodi Malinoski, coordinator for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi’s Oʻahu Group. “Hawaiʻi has already made the commitment to transition to a 100% clean energy future. It is time for our local banks and industry to get with the rest of us and get off oil.”
The Oʻahu Group is one of many organizations withdrawing their funds from First Hawaiian Bank in an effort to defund the DAPL.
“We know that communities like ours are the consumers of the oil pushed through these pipelines, harming marginalized communities,” said Marti Townsend, Director for the Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi. “We also know that accelerating the transition to clean energy here means communities everywhere are cleaner and safer. We have to get off fossil fuels right now, for us, for our neighbors, and for our future generations.”
This event was organized by Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi and 350.org-Hawaiʻi.
In a $3.7 billion project, built by Energy Transfer Partners, the Dakota Access Pipeline proposes to transport 470,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois, eventually attempting to cross the Missouri River.
Despite pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the pipeline builders failed to consult tribes and conduct a full environmental impact statement.
The proposed route crosses the Missouri River at the junction with the Cannonball River—an area that is of utmost cultural, spiritual and environmental significance. Along the pipeline’s proposed route, there are historical burial grounds, village grounds and Sundance sites that will be directly impacted.
The Missouri River is essential to those who live on the Standing Rock Reservation as well as all of the nations and states downstream—roughly 5 million people. Led by native tribes, a peaceful global movement of over 2 million people is currently blocking the construction of the pipeline in order to protect this vital water source and its surrounding sacred grounds from destruction.
While the Obama Administration’s decision to not grant the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline is a huge victory for the water protectors and the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the fight is not ever. We have won a battle but not the war.
The pipeline builders, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, said the corporations remain “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this administration has done today changes that in any way.”
The builders are willing to do anything and everything it takes to see this project through the end. It is as important now as it has been over the past few months to stand our ground and continue to fight to ensure this pipeline and future pipelines are never constructed. We must continue to pressure our banks and corporations to divest from fossil fuels and end our dependency on crude oil.
In Hawaiʻi, our connection to the DAPL is First Hawaiian Bank. Hawaiʻi’s “oldest and largest” bank, is an 80%-owned subsidiary of BancWest Corporation, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas [FHB]. BNP Paribas is an international corporation that has invested well over $400 million in the DAPL.
It is clear that First Hawaiian Bank (FHB) is dedicated to helping our community thrive by the amount of time and money they donate to local causes, the Sierra Club release stated. “It is our hope that First Hawaiian Bank’s commitment to our community means they will recognize their role in this global struggle to end our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Learn more at www.sierraclubhawaii.org.