CaPERS and a consortium of other investors last week called on the banks financing the Dakota Access Pipeline to address local tribes’ concerns around the route and safety of the project.
Earlier in the week, protestors had camped in front of the CalPERS building, calling for the powerful investor to divest from the pipeline.
CalPERS’ stance was that it could wield more influence if it remained an investor in the project. Now, it is doing just that.
From the Sacramento Bee:
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System cited its concerns that construction would lead to an “escalation of conflict and unrest as well as possible contamination of the water supply” that could in turn tarnish the banks’ reputations and cause them to lose customers.
It’s asking the banks to ensure that the project addresses the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux, which sought to block a leg of the pipeline that would pass under a reservoir that is critical to the tribe’s water supply.
“We call on the banks to address or support the tribe’s request for a reroute and utilize their influence as a project lender to reach a peaceful solution that is acceptable to all parties, including the tribe,” the letter reads.
CalPERS owns about 1 million shares of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the pipeline. It also has invested in the banks that are believed to be financing the 1,100-mile pipeline, according to a CalPERS report released earlier this month.
The fund’s board of administration requested options to engage with the company.