The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Gabby Brown,, 914-261-4626

As Major Banks Rule out Funding for Arctic Drilling, Bank of America Risks Getting Left Behind


As Bank of America faced shareholders today for its annual general meeting, the bank refused to rule out funding for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Over the last few months, in response to pressure from shareholders and activists, four of the six major American banks -- Citi, Wells Fargo, Chase, and Goldman Sachs -- have announced updates to their lending policy ruling out financing for any new drilling in the Arctic.

Executives at today's meeting dodged a question about Bank of America's stance on the Arctic, pointing to supposed "client engagement" rather than ruling out specific projects, despite the fact that the bank's existing policies do, in fact, exclude financing for certain activities.

In response, Sierra Club campaign representative Ben Cushing released the following statement:

"Almost every other major American bank, and more than a dozen banks worldwide, have recognized that financing the destruction of the Arctic Refuge would bring serious economic and reputational risks. Somehow Bank of America hasn't yet gotten the message, and instead decided to leave themselves open to that backlash. The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge because it would trample the rights of the Gwich'in Nation and exacerbate climate change. If Bank of America doesn't change course, they'll have their shareholders and the American public to answer to."

The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. We amplify the power of our 3.8 million members and supporters to defend everyone's right to a healthy world.

(415) 977-5500