Petition to #DefundDAPL and #DivestPaloAlto

Palo Alto City Council Members

Though oil may flow through the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), our stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is far from over. "From Seattle to San Francisco, Albuquerque to Raleigh, cities are joining the fight to defund the controversial pipeline." (The Nation, 3/20/17)

In Palo Alto, many hundreds of supporters attended a defund DAPL rally at King Plaza last month and marched to 8 of the 13 US banks funding DAPL. Supporters also addressed the Palo Alto City Council and asked the City to join other cities including Seattle, Davis, Santa Monica, Alameda, Oakland and San Francisco in divesting from DAPL.

The City of Palo Alto has a long history of action on climate change and sustainability including the following.

In light of the imminent dangers from human-caused climate change and the resolutions adopted by the US and 194 countries at COP21 in Paris, we urge the Council to divest from all financial institutions having investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline and its construction entity, Energy Transfer Partners, as well as any new fossil fuel infrastructure.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a particularly egregious project because it tramples on the human, land, air and water rights of Native American peoples.

Based on the City's Feb 2017 Investment Activity Report, our research shows that the City's main banking partner is DAPL financier US Bank (holdings exceed $10M) and that the City has another $7M in cash and investments with other DAPL financiers including Chase, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Wells Fargo.  In addition, the City has $16M invested in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which operates numerous coal and fossil fuel power plants and the controversial Watts Bar Nuclear Power Plant, and was responsible for the 2008 TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill, one of the worst environmental disasters in history.

*Thanks to Steve Rosenblum for contributions to this petition.

To: Palo Alto City Council Members
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned, urge the Palo Alto City Council to direct city staff to expeditiously divest the City’s financial portfolio of all entities providing financing to the Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners as well as any other infrastructure construction designed to extract or consume fossil fuel.

Furthermore, we urge the City of Palo Alto to conduct its business with financial institutions that have values aligned with ours, and lending practices that support, rather than harm, our communities and our shared climate.