Daniel B. Markind, Esq.
Weir and Partners, LLP
Bankers refuse financing for oil and natural gas pipelines in the U.S. but will invest in Venezuela where the government is abusing its own citizens.
Two events took place in the last two weeks that exhibit vividly the interplay between energy and social responsibility. This is becoming a more contentious issue each day, and one that is inescapable. In each of these situations I submit the company involved made the wrong decision. All of us need to explore how to handle these matters, and on what to base our future decisions.
The first matter involves the nation’s fifth largest commercial bank, U. S. Bancorp based in Minneapolis. In April it released its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Policy. That policy states “(t)he company does not provide project financing for the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines”. While the bank lists wind, solar and geothermal as energy projects in which it invests and promotes, any energy project that has any relationship with oil and gas pipeline industries will be “subject to the Bank’s enhanced due diligence processes.”