Environmental groups picketed a Center City TD Bank branch Friday for its investments in a controversial pipeline cutting through Minnesota.
Activists accused TD Bank of investing billions in Enbridge, a Canadian-based company behind the construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline, a portion of which crosses through a Native American reservation.
Ellen Somekawa, an organizer with the Philly Water Protectors, said the project violates Native American treaty rights, risks environmental contamination, and would bring more carbon emissions.
“[TD’s] support through loans and bond issues and other funding are what makes this pipeline possible,” Somekawa said of the banking giant. “Tar sands are one of the dirtiest forms of fossil fuels, so you think about this thing going through Native lands, including our precious water resources.”
TD Bank declined to discuss the project or its investments in Enbridge, but countered that it also invests in green energy and aimed to radically reduce its climate impact –– albeit several decades down the road.
“Under our Climate Action Plan, TD aims to achieve net-zero [greenhouse gas] emissions associated with our operations and financing activities by 2050, aligned with principles of the Paris Agreement,” said Matthew J. Doherty, vice president of corporate communications. “TD recognizes the importance of responsibly developing conventional energy as we support the long-term transition to a low-carbon economy and a sustainable future.”
Protest groups said the rally was timed ahead of the late July expiration of billions in bank loans to Enbridge. The groups also called on President Joe Biden to block the pipeline’s construction and divert more resources toward green energy.
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