Students for Climate Justice call on TD Bank to Divest From Dakota Access Pipeline

Maine students concerned about the impacts of climate change are urge businesses, citizens and the state's leaders to take action

By Ramona du Houx

Despite freezing tempertures on December 19, 2016, Maine Students for Climate Justice (MSCJ), with support from climate leaders around the state, rallied in Monument Square and marched to the TD Bank branch on Union St to pressure the bank to withdraw financial support from the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“We must take action when communities’ rights to life and water are threatened,” said Christine Baglieri of Pine Tree Youth Organizing. “No one should be attacked for protecting their home. That is why TD cannot continue to invest in, and therefore endorse, the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a pipeline project that, in its proposed entirety, would stretch 1,172 miles and would carry over 500,000 gallons daily of crude oil. The pipeline would traverse sacred lands of the Standing Rock Sioux as well as cross under the Missouri River, the tribe’s main source of drinking water.

“We take action today to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux and use the power of our local community to raise awareness about the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as pressure TD Bank to divest immediately from the pipeline,” said Chloe Maxmin, an organizer with Maine Students for Climate Justice. 

A movement arose to stop DAPL and protect indigenous rights, as thousands of people joined the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp in Cannonball, N.D. where unarmed water protectors were confronted with brutal police violence. Representatives from all of America's tribes have gone and supported stopping the pipeline project in N.D.

The United Nations called for the pipeline's construction to stop.

Earilier in December the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to drill under the Missouri River, which temporarily halted construction.

However, there are substantial fears that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration could overturn this ruling and complete the pipeline. The Preident-elect has finicial interests in the pipeline's construction.

Energy Transfer Partners, which owns the pipeline, has expressed its intent to find a way to build the pipeline.

“TD Bank has loaned $365 million to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline. Maine Students for Climate Justice calls on TD to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline. We also urge all Mainers with accounts at TD to close them and move their business to banks that do not threaten water, life, and climate," said Ester Topolarova, Colby student and MSCJ organizer.

MSCJ students are concerned about the impacts of climate change are also urging businesses, citizens and the state's leaders to take action.

MSCJ is a youth-led group dedicated to building a climate justice movement across Maine.