Wells Fargo becomes third major US bank to nix Arctic oil investment

Wells Fargo says it won’t finance oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bank’s announcement follows similar policies against Arctic drilling adopted by Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, as well as a string of European banks.

Wells Fargo says it will not “directly finance oil and gas projects in the Arctic region, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

The language leaves open the possibility that the bank could indirectly fund Arctic projects, by lending money to oil companies that operate in the region.

Read more: Anxiety creeps into oil-dependent Alaska as banks step back from Arctic investment

The Gwich’in Steering Committee, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups have been campaigning for banks to divest from Arctic fossil fuels.

In the 2017 tax bill, Congress ordered the government to auction off drilling rights in ANWR. The Interior Department has not announced dates for those lease sales.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

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