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120 Groups Urge Big Banks to Pull Support for Expanded Gas Exports

20+ proposed new and expanded gas export facilities threaten Gulf Coast communities and climate.
WASHINGTON -

Today, 120 organizations sent letters to the six biggest American banks urging them to stop lending and support for new and expanded gas export facilities, citing environmental justice and climate concerns as well as rising home heating costs for American communities being driven by the rise in exports. 

More than 20 new and expanded export facilities are currently proposed to liquefy and ship methane gas from the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana to foreign markets. If built, these projects would lock in fossil fuel production for decades to come and exacerbate harm to Gulf Coast communities already facing disproportionate rates of industrial pollution from the fossil fuel industry and the impacts of extreme weather driven by climate change. Gas proponents have attempted to use current fears of gas shortages in Europe to build support for this massive buildout of new export facilities, despite the fact that this expansion would do nothing to alleviate these concerns in the short term, and would only serve to lock in decades of dependence on fossil fuels at a time when a shift in the opposite direction is necessary. 

The letters, signed by groups working in the Gulf Coast region, as well as national environmental and Indigenous rights groups representing millions of members and supporters, were sent to the CEOs of JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citi, and Bank of America. They note that banks that continue to fund the expansion of fracked gas exports will face “both substantial financial risk – as renewables outcompete oil and gas – and significant reputational damage – as the public urgently demands responsible and sustainable investment practices.”

A new report released by Global Energy Monitor today confirms that gas export projects are risky investments, finding that new projects are struggling to find buyers because they face competition from lower-priced international producers, pressure from cheap renewables, and tightening climate commitments.

Read the full letters HERE

“When banks finance fracked gas projects, they’re funding the creation of sacrifice zones. The fossil fuel industry in Southeast Texas has swallowed up our local economies, poisoned our air and water, and contributed to the increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes that we’re still recovering from,” said John Beard, founder and president of Port Arthur Community Action Network (PACAN). “My home of Port Arthur is already inundated with fossil fuel and petrochemical industry, yet there are several fracked gas export terminals that could still be built here. We need to see investment in renewable energy jobs and coastal restoration, not more polluting and destructive infrastructure.” 

“New and expanded fracked gas export terminals would exacerbate the climate crisis and threaten the health and safety of already-vulnerable communities in the Gulf Coast. They also face significant public opposition and legal challenges that put them at risk of becoming stranded assets or never being completed at all,” said Adele Shraiman, Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Fossil-Free Finance campaign. “Big banks should do the right thing for the climate, for communities, and for their own bottom line by steering clear of these risky, toxic investments.”

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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.

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