For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Gabby Brown, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org, 914-261-4626

With New Morgan Stanley Policy, Bank of America is Only Remaining Major US Bank Without a Commitment Not to Fund Arctic Drilling

New York, NY - Today, multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley released an updated energy policy that rules out direct financing for oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The policy also rules out direct funding for new coal-fired power plants and thermal coal mines, and commits to phase out financing of thermal coal mining companies. However, the policy update fails to rule out funding for fracking, tar sands, or deepwater drilling. 

Today’s announcement leaves Bank of America as the only remaining major US bank not to rule out financing for the destruction of the Arctic Refuge. The other five -- Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup -- have all updated their policies over the last few months, joining more than a dozen international banks

Over the last two years, leaders from the Gwich’in Steering Committee and the Sierra Club have met with representatives from major banks to discuss the threats fossil fuel operations pose to the Arctic Refuge and why action by the financial industry is necessary.

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“Investing in drilling in the Arctic Refuge would be a disaster for Indigenous rights, wildlife, and the climate,” said Sierra Club campaign representative Ben Cushing. “Every other major American bank sees that it would also be a disaster for the reputation of any company foolish enough to get involved. Now all eyes are on Bank of America to see if they’ll get the message too or risk the major public backlash that would come with financing the destruction of this unique and sacred place.” 

“Keeping destructive drilling out of the Arctic Refuge is critical to the survival and way of life of my people, and we are thankful that so many major banks are listening to us and taking our human rights seriously,” said Gwich’in Steering Committee Executive Director Bernadette Demientieff. “If Bank of America refuses to commit not to fund Arctic drilling, they’ll have the Gwich’in Nation and the millions of Americans who stand with us to answer to.”   

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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