If you ever doubt the power the Big Banks have over shaping climate change policy and practice, consider this: $3.75 billion of the $3.8 billion it will cost to build the Dakota Access pipeline is on credit.
According to a report from Food and Water Watch, an American consumer rights watchdog, at least three Canadian banks -- Scotiabank, TD and RBC -- are helping to bankroll the 1,800 km pipeline that travels directly through the traditional and treatied territories of the Standing Rock Sioux.
TD Securities is directly financing $365 million toward the construction of the DAPL and, additionally, the oil and gas infrastructure projects of one of the pipeline's joint owners, Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. RBC and Scotiabank are providing $341 million and $100 million respectively toward Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics, another joint owner of the DAPL.
Canadian pipeline company Enbridge -- behind the Northern Gateway and Line 9 reversal projects in Canada -- also paid $1.5 billion for a 27.6 per cent stake in the DAPL in August.
On Thursday, 141 unarmed, peaceful Standing Rock land defenders were arrested by armed police from at least seven states with militarized weapons and tactics. As many have pointed out, that same day the white insurrectionists behind the armed occupation at Malheur Wildlife preserve in Oregon were acquitted.
The original pipeline route, which crossed the Missouri River near Bismarck, North Dakota, was rejected because of its potential threat to municipal water sources. Instead, the 570,000 barrel-a-day pipeline will cross the rightful land of the Lakota, Dakota and other Indigenous nations as defined by the 1851 Fort Laramie treaty. As @suntzufuntzu remarked on Twitter, "The Sioux are literally being forced at gunpoint to accept ecological risks that North Dakota's white residents refused."