This post was written by Oil Sands Divestment and published on August 18, 2021.
Enbridge’s largest project, Line 3 is slated to bring oil from Alberta’s oil sands, through Minnesota to Wisconsin, and has faced fierce opposition since day one. Despite this, construction is completed in Alberta and Wisconsin and tensions continue to rise in Minnesota where Indigenous and environmental groups continue to oppose the project.
In addition to the violation of Indigenous rights, Line 3 poses immense risks to the natural environment. If completed the new 9-billion-dollar pipeline would carry 760,000 barrels of tar sands oil per day, nearly double the carrying capacity of the current Line 3 pipeline. This is equivalent to adding 38 million vehicles to the road or 50 new coal-fired power plants each year. On top of this, it would further encourage tar sands production and thus an increase in global greenhouse emissions (GHGs), all in a time when the IPCC warns of a worsening climate crisis and the need for a drastic reduction in CO² emissions. More specifically, Line 3 would be so damaging that it would release more GHGs annually than the entire state of Minnesota did in 2016, and by 2050 would be responsible for five times the current amount of greenhouse gas emissions currently produced by the state of Minnesota in a year. Aside from GHGs emissions, protected lakes, wetlands, and wild-rice beds are at risk in the case of a spill, which was not uncommon throughout the use of the previous Line 3 which experienced numerous ruptures, damages and corrosion since its construction in 1961.
Nonetheless, Enbridge continues to push forward despite not having project-specific funding. Instead, they rely by-in-large on some of the world’s largest banks to finance Line 3. In fact, Canadian-based bank, TD contributed most heavily with $13.59 billion, from 2016 – 2020, to the project in the form of loans, and underwriting a bond. In fact, the top five financiers are all Canadian banks (TD, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, RBC, and CIBC) followed by US banks; Citi, Wells Fargo, and the Bank of America. Hence the need to remove these banks from your portfolio if you are concerned about climate risk.