Apr 4, 2017 - BREAKING Seattle City Council Passes Resolution Opposing Keystone XL Pipeline
April 3 2017
Seattle, WA – The Seattle city council has unanimously passed a resolutionopposing the construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. The resolution was sponsored by council-member Kshama Sawant.
The resolution, which was crafted by the same coalition that brought Seattle’s ordinance to divest $3 billion from Wells Fargo over its investment in the Dakota Access pipeline, states the Seattle City Council’s opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, and;
“request[s] the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) reject bids to provide banking services to the City of Seattle from financial institutions that provide credit level facilities or project-level loans to TransCanada.”
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline is a 1,179-mile long pipeline that would run from the oil sands in Alberta to Nebraska where it would link to an existing pipeline on-route to the Gulf Coast for export. It would carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day.
“Today’s victory is another step forward in this fight for release from fossil fuel dependency. Not only to say No to KXL and all fossil fuel projects, but again to acknowledge that the Treaty Rights of Indigenous people are still being violated and ignored , that Mother Earth, our health and wellbeing is not of concern, nor is the future of our coming generations. It is absolutely crucial that we don’t forget about what this infrastructure is contributing to our very existence…and therefore actions like today and the ones coming from this continued work is what is needed to sustain it.” Rachel Heaton (Muckleshoot)
Jesse Nightwalker, Matt Remle, Paul Wagner L-R Photo by Alex Garland
“We fought KXL before and we’re committed to fighting it again! Like the Dakota Access pipeline, the Keystone XL pipeline is yet another project that violates Tribes treaty rights, desecrates sacred and cultural sites, threatens water and has little regard for the health and well-being of millions.” Matt Remle (Lakota)
DeFund KXL Resolution
A RESOLUTION, stating the Seattle City Council’s opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, and requesting the Department of Finance and Administrative Services avoid contracting with financial institutions that provide it with project level loans or other financial services.
Whereas, in the December 2011 resolution 31346, the City of Seattle resolved that “Climate change is not an abstract problem for the future or one that will only affect far-distant places but rather climate change is happening now, we are causing it, and the longer we wait to act, the more we lose and the more difficult the problem will be to solve”; and
Whereas, in December 2015, 194 nations signed the Paris Agreements to prevent catastrophic and irreversible impacts on the world’s climate, with the aim to “[hold] the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels”; and
Whereas, a September 2016 Oil Change International report, “The Sky’s Limit: Why the Paris Climate Goals Require a Managed Decline of Fossil Fuel Production,” found that currently developed reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal “exceed the 2°C carbon budget and signiﬁcantly exceed the 1.5°C budget,” and that “[o]il and gas emissions alone exceed the 1.5°C budget; and
Whereas, a January 2017 Oil Change International report, “Climate on the Line: Why New Tar Sands Pipelines Are Incompatible With the Paris Goals,” found that “to have a likely (2 in 3) chance of keeping warming below 2°C, global emissions must be halved within little more than 20 years. To keep warming to 1.5°C, emissions must be halved in about 15 years“; and
Whereas, the 2012 analysis produced by the Congressional Research Service, “Canadian Oil Sands: Life-Cycle Assessments of Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” found that “Well-to-Tank (i.e., production) emissions from Canadian oil sands crudes have a range of increase from 72%-111% over the average Well-to-Tank emissions of other imported crudes”; and
Whereas, on March 24, 2017 President Trump announced his State Department issued TransCanada the federal permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline, which could transport over 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico; and
Whereas, over 100 First Nations and Tribes have signed the Treaty Alliance Against Tar Sands Expansion, which states that “our Nations hereby join together under the present treaty to officially prohibit and to agree to collectively challenge and resist the use of our respective territories and coasts in connection with the expansion of the production of the Alberta Tar Sands, including for the transport of such expanded production, whether by pipeline, rail or tanker”; and
Whereas, the prospective route for the Keystone XL pipeline would run through the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota and has been called an “act of war” by Rosebud Sioux president, Cyril Scott; and
Whereas, completion of the Keystone XL pipeline is dependant upon receiving credit facilities and project-level loans from financial institutions; and
Whereas, financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase, CitiBank, Wells Fargo, Bank of Montreal, Scotia Bank, ATB Financial, Bank of Tokyo, Barclays, Credit Suisse, HSBC, National Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, Credit Agricole, Desjardins, Deutsche Bank, Mizuho and Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corporation have provided financial services to TransCanada; and
Whereas, in February 2017 ordinance 125257, the City of Seattle established policies to prioritize City business with “partners who are committed to engaging in fair business practices”; and
Whereas, the grassroots movement to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline is a central issue for climate justice and indigenous organizers, and has initiated a generation of activists into the struggle to defend this planet that we all depend on to survive;
Therefore, LET IT BE RESOLVED
Section 1. The Seattle City Council opposes the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. We urge all federal and state regulatory agencies to reject permit requests from TransCanada for the construction of that project. We urge financial institutions boycott providing financial services to TransCanada until it abandons attempts to complete the pipeline.
Section 2. The Seattle City Council does not support doing business with financial institutions that invest in the Keystone XL Pipeline or otherwise provide financial services to TransCanada for that project. We request the Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) reject bids to provide banking services to the City of Seattle from financial institutions that provide credit level facilities or project-level loans to TransCanada. We request FAS look for meaningful ways to communicate these positions of the Seattle City Council to prospective financial institutions, such as in incorporating appropriate language in Requests for Proposals for city contracts.