I’m angered by the recent news: Silicon Valley Bank has failed because, once again, Congress refuses to regulate Wall Street. While the government bails out banks, millions of students are left on the sidelines, still on track to resume debt payments in September. And as a result of these failures, “too big to fail” Wall Street banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank will be raking in even more deposits and profits.
And there’s more: the Biden administration just approved a disastrous pipeline, the Willow Project, to be built in the Alaskan wilderness, home to Indigenous communities and abundant wildlife who’ve thrived in the region for thousands of years.
We are not asking for the fossil fuel industry to be shut down overnight — we’re simply calling for what science demands to prevent climate catastrophes: an end to the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. One of the very first things banks need to do is to stop financing companies that are exploring and building new projects. We cannot afford to expand the industry anymore. In order to get out of this hole, we need to stop digging. What we need instead is a much more substantial amount of investments into renewable energy.
Biden’s approval of the Willow Project is a disaster. The Willow Project would extract 500 million barrels of petroleum and release massive amounts of greenhouse gas. ConocoPhillips, the company behind the Willow Project, has received $10 billion from Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citibank since the Paris Climate Accords were signed. Projects like these would not be possible without the financial backing of Wall Street banks.
If banks do not adopt policies to stop expanding the fossil fuel industry, these institutions are not going to hit their climate targets and will continue to use your money to support the expansion of an industry that we all know needs to be phased out of.