Dakota Access Banks urged to bail out of controversial oil pipeline


Protesters gather on the site of the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline

Protesters gather on the site of the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline

(Keystone)

Greenpeace has sharply criticised Credit Suisse for funding companies involved in the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline project. The NGO told Swiss public television SRF that the Swiss bank is a prominent bankroller of the proposed United States pipeline.

According to research from pressure group Food & Water Watch, Credit Suisse has financed three firms involved in the project to the tune of $340 million (CHF342 million). The NGO also believes Swiss rival UBS is involved to a similar extent, according to the 10 vor 10 news programme.

US President Donald Trump has given the pipeline his backing that would provide better connections between Dakota oil producers and refineries on the Gulf coast. But the pipeline is slated to run through traditional grounds of Sioux native Americans, with fears that it could pollute the water table in the region.

Ongoing protests over the pipeline have put other European banks off the project, 10 vor 10 said in its report on Wednesday. But Greenpeace has uncovered documents that Credit Suisse, along with other banks, is involved in an $850 million financing project that includes Dakota Access partner firm Energy Transfer Equity.

It is not clear how much of the $850 million has gone to Dakota Access, and Credit Suisse declined to comment on this point.

Greenpeace spokesman Thomas Mäder told 10 vor 10 that Credit Suisse had said, during a meeting last December, that it played only a minor role in the oil pipeline. Mäder now believes that these comments were mere “lip service”.

Credit Suisse told 10 vor 10 that it complied with guidelines set down by the United Nations and the World Bank when assessing the risk of financing sector specific projects.

swissinfo.ch/mga

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