shared from The Denver Post, 3-3 2020
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA » Wells Fargo & Co. became the third major U.S. bank to announce that it will not support financing for oil and gas projects in the Arctic.
The bank identified the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska’s North Slope as an area where it will not invest, the Anchorage Daily News reported Monday.
Wells Fargo joined The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in the decision not to provide future investment funding for Arctic oil projects.
Wells Fargo said the decision was “part of a larger 2018 risk-based decision to forgo participation in any project-specific transaction in the region.”
The disclosure came as the Trump administration takes steps to lease tracts in the refuge’s coastal plain, setting the stage for drilling approved by Congress in 2017.
Conservation groups and Gwichin tribal members have pressed banks to reject support for investments in the refuge as part of a larger plan to combat climate change.
Other Alaska leaders — including Inupiat tribal leaders — have urged the banks to refuse those pleas, citing Alaska’s environmental standards and the state’s economic dependence on oil development. — The Associated Press