WASHINGTON – Today, investors representing $244.9 billion in assets under management sent letters to ten of the biggest banks in America urging them to stop funding the controversial fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) due to the “climate, financial, and reputational risks” associated with it. The letters also highlight how MVP is misleading investors and the public by claiming the project is 92% complete, when “MVP’s own documentation shows that… only about half of the pipeline is complete to final restoration.”
The controversial project is over three years behind schedule and has nearly doubled its original budget, the result of a rushed and shoddy permitting process that has not withstood legal challenges. In addition to the extraordinary delays and cost overruns, regulators have imposed millions of dollars in penalties on MVP for violating over 350 environmental and water protections. Moreover, it was the subject of a criminal investigation and continues to face intense and ongoing grassroots opposition and is nowhere near finished, with the steepest and most challenging sections of its 304-mile route still remaining. The uncertainty surrounding the project reminds analysts and industry watchers of similar problems that led to the cancellation of the nearby Atlantic Coast Pipeline and many are openly wondering if the project will ever be completed at all.
The banks that received letters are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Scotiabank, TD Bank, Deutsche Bank, MUFG Banks, PNC, Citigroup, and Bank of America.
In response, Peter Krull, Founder, CEO & Director of Investments at Earth Equity Advisors, released the following statement:
“We have always prioritized clean energy and sustainable industries in our portfolios. However, because there is limited data available regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion metrics, we feel accountable to use our voice in this industry where we can. In this case, that is to help protect vulnerable communities that would be impacted by Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP).”
In response, Lauren Compere, Managing Director, Boston Common Asset Management, released the following statement:
“Fracked gas infrastructure such as the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) are quickly becoming stranded assets. Given the escalating financial, environmental, and social risks of this project, we strongly urge banks to re-evaluate any further financing to EQT and other developers and backers of this project.”
In response, Vincent Kaufmann, CEO at Ethos Foundation, released the following statement:
Given the world’s need to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050, the risk of fossil fuel assets with long life cycles, such as the Mountain Valley pipeline, becoming stranded assets looms large. In addition, fracked gas comes with several environmental issues. Thus, we strongly urge banks to cease financing of the Mountain Valley pipeline to protect their shareholders as well as the environment.”
In response, Ben Cushing, the Sierra Club’s Campaign Manager for Financial Advocacy, released the following statement:
“The MVP is over three years behind schedule, has nearly doubled its original budget, and is bogged down in a self-inflicted permitting quagmire with no apparent resolution on the horizon. The institutions dumping funds into this unnecessary fracked gas project are just pouring their money into a 300-mile long money pit, and these investors want to make sure the big banks know it. It’s time for Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other big banks to stop supporting this billion-dollar boondoggle.”