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