The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a resolution asking the municipal treasurer to filter out Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) funders when mulling over where to put city funds.
The resolution, introduced by Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, is a preliminary step in getting the city to pull about $1.2 billion from companies that are helping to fund the $3.8 billion, 1,172-mile-long oil pipeline. The project has been fought in all four states that it runs through, most notably in Iowa and in North Dakota. In the latter, Indigenous Peoples and their allies camped for months along the Missouri and Cannonball rivers near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, slowing or halting construction in the face of intense backlash from militarized police.
Fewer told CBS SF News that the city has 14 percent of its portfolio invested with institutions that help finance the project, which is slated to transport up to 500,000 barrels of oil daily underground. Opposition has centered around indigenous treaty rights but has exploded into a human rights and environmental justice issue in the wake of violent tactics used by police against unarmed water protectors. The city has funds in more than 30 banks that finance pipeline builder Energy Transfer Partners, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. In November the city approved a resolution in support of the water protectors.
San Francisco would be in good company if it were to pull funds. The City of Seattle has already taken its $3.4 billion out of Wells Fargo, and New York City has put 17 banks and financial institutions on notice that it could do the same. Storebrand, Norway’s largest private investor, pulled out of the same 17 banks earlier this month, and cities including Alameda, Santa Monica and Davis, California have also passed legislation favoring divestment, CBS reported. It’s part of a larger movement to get everyone from individual account holders to large finance companies to stop underwriting the behomoth project.
"Let's hope that our action today in passing this resolution adds volume to the voices across the country condemning the Dakota Access Pipeline," Fewer said, according to NBC Bay Area News and the San Francisco Chronicle. “The pipeline construction is a violation of human rights and degradation of the natural environment.”