Flash mob protests against pipeline loans in Madison

MADISON (WKOW) – Climate activists staged a lightning dance outside a downtown bank as part of a protest to pressure Wall Street banks to end their loans for the “Line 3 replacement pipeline project”.

The “Stop the Money Pipeline” coalition has launched the national “# DefundLine3” campaign and the organization calls for “defining” the banks involved in lending for pipelines: Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Royal Bank of Canada.

Organizers of the 350 Madison Climate Action Team, which hosted Saturday’s protest, said it was an opportunity to raise awareness and draw attention to their mission.

“Banks could easily and legally end their funding relationship with Enbridge Corporation, the company behind line three,” said organizer Dianne Brakarsh. “That’s why we are doing this now.”

According to Enbridge Inc., a Canadian pipeline company funding the project, the “Line 3 Replacement Project” passes through Alberta, Canada, and to Superior, Wisconsin; the original pipeline was built in the 1960s.

In defending the pipeline, the Enbridge site says there are petroleum products that “are an integral part of our daily lives.”

The pipeline’s website states that during an assessment of the pipeline, they “determined that a Line 3 replacement was best to maintain the integrity of the system while minimizing disruption to landowners and communities.” .

A spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase said the bank accepts climate change as real and referred to what it calls a “funding strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement”.

“By aiming to fund and facilitate $ 1 trillion for green initiatives, such as renewables and clean technologies – as part of a $ 2.5 trillion goal to advance climate action and sustainability, ”said spokesperson for JPMorgan Chase.

Enbridge spokesman Michael Barnes says people have the right to protest, but the project is nearing completion.

“Enbridge respects the right of individuals to peacefully express their views on the energy on which we all depend. Line 3 replacement has been completed in Canada, North Dakota and Wisconsin, ”Barnes said in a statement to 27 News. “The replacement project is over 70% complete in Minnesota, with the project on track to be commissioned by the fourth quarter. of this year.

Brakarsh said people have signed postcards that will be sent to banks and President Biden to stop funding the pipeline.

“There are actually things that are happening right at the front line of the pipeline. So I just hope people get educated and get involved in any way they can,” Brakarsh said.

This article has been updated to include a statement from Enbridge.

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