Can bank divestment stop the Dakota Access Pipeline?
By John Heltman
It took less than 24 hours after President Trump signed an order directing an expedited review of the Dakota Access Pipeline for Daily Action, a liberal activist group, to decide where its best hope of leverage was — calling on followers to divest themselves of the U.S. commercial banks involved in financing the project. …Having a single standard to which all banks must adhere would reduce the variability between banks on the one hand and would bake these types of social considerations into the banks’ loan review process on the other. Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics, said that approach has been attempted at the international level but had middling success, not least because social and environmental benefits can frequently conflict. Biomedical research, for example, can cure disease and save lives, but neither banks nor any other financial institution is required to fund those types of projects.