In a $3.7 billion project, built by Energy Transfer Partners, the Dakota Access Pipeline transports 470,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois, eventually crossing 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 Cannon Ball 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 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 attempted to block the construction of the pipeline in order to protect this vital water source and its surrounding sacred grounds from destruction.
THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER
On January 24, 2017 the Trump Administration signed Executive Orders to move the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines forward, overwriting the Obama Administration’s decision to not grant the final easement to complete the construction of DAPL. These pipelines are a huge threat to the public health and cultural practices of millions of residents. It is as important as ever to stand our ground and continue to fight to ensure DAPL, Keystone XL, 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.
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED
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. 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.
We have asked that First Hawaiian Bank pull their money from the Dakota Access Pipeline and establish a plan to divest from all fossil fuel infrastructure projects by the end of 2017.
Should First Hawaiian Bank not divest from DAPL and all other fossil fuel projects, we are organizing a coalition of individuals and organizations to withdrawal their funds and close their FHB accounts.
4 EASY STEPS TO DEFUND DAPL
1. Go to your bank funding DAPL – First Hawaiian Bank – and publicly close your accounts, mortgages, vehicle loans, credit card, etc. and submit a letter to management stating your reasons.
2. Take a picture with a sign saying #DeFundDAPL outside of the bank (or use the image here), post the photo with these 4 steps, and be sure to tag us @sierraclubhi and @fhbhawaii.
3. Input the total amount you withdrew in our form below so we can keep track of the total of local divestments.
4. Deposit your money into a credit union that does not invest in fossil fuels.
We reached our goal of $1 million of customer funds withdrawn from First Hawaiian Bank by December 31, 2016. The current total is $1,617,610 and growing. Join the movement today!
LETTER SUBMITTED TO FHB 11.15.2016
Aloha pumehana Mr. Harrison,
We appreciate First Hawaiian Bank’s commitment to better Hawaiʻi for everyone here. This commitment is one reason we are hopeful you will heed our call to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline and all other fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) proposes to transport 470,000 barrels of crude oil under the Missouri River. This project has attracted international condemnation as a wrong-headed continuation of climate-killing energy infrastructure and a blatant example of environmental racism. The DAPL threatens to contaminate the Missouri River which is a primary water source for over 5 million people and the sole water source for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Over 1.5 million people have expressed their support for protecting the Standing Rock Sioux’s sacred ancestral lands from the DAPL. Although the Army Corps recommended a voluntary halt to the project, DAPL insists on proceeding with construction, which has set off a shocking wave of police brutality against peaceful demonstrators.
DAPL is funded by several international investment banks, including BNP Paribas. BNP Paribas is a major shareholder of First Hawaiian Bank.
Your customers are extremely concerned about the continued construction of DAPL, police brutality, disrespect of indigenous rights, and the failure to transition to a clean energy future. Several customers are already preparing to withdraw their funds from FHB to ensure they are not unwittingly supporting the destruction of our planet.
Our request of you is to divest from DAPL immediately and establish a plan for divesting from all fossil fuel infrastructure projects by the end of 2017.
By standing with us against the DAPL, you will help your customers to know that they can trust First Hawaiian Bank to always look out for our collective best interests, and to know that:
- FHB recognizes that human actions are causing climate change, and is taking actions to transition away from investments in fossil fuels,
- FHB respects the integrity and self-determination of native peoples like the Standing Rock Sioux and Native Hawaiians,
- FHB disavows police brutality.
Thank you for receiving our concerns. We look forward to receiving your response.
Me ke aloha,
Concerned Residents of Hawaiʻi
OUR LOCAL ACTIONS HAVE GLOBAL CONSEQUENCES
Pipelines exist across North America because there are markets like ours here in Hawaiʻi that are dependent on fossil fuel imports.
Hawaiʻi is dependent on fossil fuels because Hawaiian Electric Company, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, refuses to transition our electrical grid to renewable energy. Similarly, American Savings Bank is also a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, another example of how corporations and banks collude at the cost of our environment and community livelihoods.
“Banks have a choice to either finance the transition to renewable energy, or to finance pipelines and power plants that will lock us into fossil fuels for the next 40 years,” said Johan Frijns, director of BankTrack, a Netherlands-based advocacy organization that led the campaign. “If we’re serious about fighting climate change, we can’t continue to finance fossil fuel infrastructure of any kind.” [NY Times]
To stop the DAPL and the hundreds of other pipeline and fracking projects destroying communities globally, we need to make the move off of fossil fuels. When we all become energy self-sufficient, vulnerable communities everywhere become cleaner and safer.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
The peaceful protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline have been met with unjust, violent pushback from the state police and private security creating a months-long dangerous fight for the water protectors on the ground. There are many actions that you can take to help prevent the further construction of DAPL and help the water protectors:
- Close your First Hawaiian Bank account and open an account at a local credit union
- Call and email First Hawaiian Bank’s customer feedback and tell them that their major shareholder, BNP Paribas, should not loan money for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call: 808-525-7000
- Please be respectful in all of your communications. Here is a sample statement: “BNP Paribas, which owns 80% of First Hawaiian Bank, has loaned more than $400 million to the builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline. FHB should not be helping companies build infrastructure projects that make us more reliant on fossil fuels and that violate the rights of native peoples. Please tell BNP Paribas to pull its money out of the Dakota Access Pipeline; otherwise you will continue to lose customers in Hawaiʻi.”
- Pressure our local government to accelerate the process of moving us off fossil fuels on a large scale. Email the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission to ask that they hold Hawaiian Electric Company to our 100% renewable energy goal.
- Email: email@example.com