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Petition asks city of Decatur to stop doing business with Wells Fargo

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Petition asks city of Decatur to stop doing business with Wells Fargo

Decatur City Hall.

Decatur City Hall.

An online petition is asking the city to discontinue its business relationship with Wells Fargo bank.

One of the concerns cited by petition organizers is Wells Fargo’s role in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline, a controversial oil pipeline project that is opposed by many Native Americans.

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“Wells Fargo is the City of Decatur’s primary bank,” the petitions says. “Our property, business and other taxes and the City’s funds are deposited with Wells Fargo. According to Investopedia, deposits are the primary source of loanable funds for almost every bank. Wells Fargo loans our money to fund fossil fuel infrastructure projects, such the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). We do not want our tax dollars to support the DAPL project.”

Scot Hollonbeck, one  of the petition’s organizers, said Wells Fargo does not support the city’s stated goals of promoting environmental sustainability.

“I’ve been pushing the angle on sustainability, making sure the groups we’re working with are in alignment with our stated objectives,” he said.

In a statement, Wells Fargo said it has a small stake in the project and supports other causes important to Native Americans.

“Wells Fargo has proudly provided more than 200 Native American tribal entities in 27 different states with banking and other financial services – some of them for the past 50 years,” Wells Fargo’s statement says. “Just in the past three years, we have provided more than $11 million in philanthropic support to hundreds of tribal nonprofit organizations nationwide.”

The company says it is one of 17 institutions financing the project and that its loans are less than 5 percent of the project’s total. Wells Fargo also says it has invested more than $52 billion in environmentally sustainable businesses.

Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett declined to comment on the petition.

She said, “It would not be appropriate for me to comment on a petition that could be brought before the City Commission for discussion.”

To see the full petition, click here.

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