Wells Fargo becomes third major US bank to nix Arctic oil investment

Wells Fargo’ statement followed similar moves announced by JPMorgan Chase & Co last week and Goldman Sachs Group Inc in December. Wells Fargo bank in Middletown, DE, on July 26, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)
Wells Fargo says it won’t finance oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bank’s announcement follows similar policies against Arctic drilling adopted by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, as well as a string of European banks.

Wells Fargo says it will not “directly finance oil and gas projects in the Arctic region, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

The language leaves open the possibility that the bank could indirectly fund Arctic projects, by lending money to oil companies that operate in the region.

The Gwich’in Steering Committee, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups have been campaigning for banks to divest from Arctic fossil fuels.

In the 2017 tax bill, Congress ordered the government to auction off drilling rights in ANWR. The Interior Department has not announced dates for those lease sales.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Inuit orgs welcome Canada’s support of heavy fuel oil ban in Arctic waters, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finland investigates oil leak risks from Baltic Sea shipwrecks, Yle News

Iceland: Iceland to restrict heavy fuel oil use in territorial waters, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Plenty of more oil in Barents Sea, says Norwegian petroleum authority, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Equinor drops plan for oil transfer terminal at Veidnes in northern Norway, The Independent Barents Observer

United Kingdom: Exemptions to possible Arctic HFO ban denounced by Indigenous orgs, environmental groups, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Goldman Sachs will no longer fund drilling in Arctic refuge sacred to First Nations, CBC News

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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