On Tuesday, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to end the city’s relationship with Wells Fargo, citing its support of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
According to the Seattle Times, the Pacific Northwestern metropolis cycles roughly $3 billion a year through the bank, which includes revenue for everything from property taxes to parking meter payments. The 9-0 vote will result in the city not renewing its contract with Wells Fargo, which ends in 2018.
City council members say the megabank’s funding of the controversial 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been protested for months by indigenous people who say the pipeline route violates longstanding treaties between Native Americans and the federal government, was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back in the city deciding to move its money elsewhere.
“We are taking a bold policy step today that is what this movement wants to see and asks to see,” said council member Lorena Gonzalez. Socialist Alternative council member Kshama Sawant, who was famously elected to her position after helping to organize Occupy Seattle, said the vote was meant to “take our government back from the billionaires, back from [President Donald] Trump and from the oil companies.”
The decision seemed to take a toll on Wells Fargo’s stock price, which closed roughly a dollar lower than its opening price on Tuesday.
Construction of the pipeline itself is scheduled to move forward any day now, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently granted the final easement the pipeline needed to have its route approved. President Trump called for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to proceed in a January 24 executive order, along with construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook.