Over the past decade, TD Bank has invested billions of dollars in the development of tar sands petroleum extraction in Canada, most recently becoming a major funder for the Keystone XL pipeline that, if built, will bring tar sands oil to the United States. A group of protestors from the Philadelphia region wants the bank to divest their funds from these projects because of concerns about climate change and the destruction of the land of native communities in Alberta.
Today at noon, members of Rising Tide Philly and other environmental groups will rally at TD Bank headquarters at 1701 Route 70 East in Cherry Hill. Today’s demonstration coincides with a sit-in at the State Department in Washington organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network and the Other 98% “to hold political leaders accountable for their complicity with and inaction on climate change,” according to a press release.
“We are going after TD Bank for funding this destruction,” says Philadelphia resident Rachel Leone. Rising Tide Philly’s demonstration today is the latest in a string of protests against TD’s funding of tar sands extraction. In March, dozens of activists rallied at a TD Bank in Montpelier, Vermont, and started a drive to encourage concerned customers to close their accounts at TD. “By closing your accounts with TD Bank you are taking a small but important action against tar sands development,” said Erik Gillard, one of the organizers of the March rally.
Opponents of tar sands extraction and many scientists say the process is dirtier than conventional methods and will contribute to an acceleration of climate change. Proponents say tar sands oil and the Keystone XL pipeline will help lower gas prices in the US.
In June, a fake TD Bank press release circulated online, stating that the bank would gradually divest its $1.8 billion investment in the pipeline and live up to its pledge to be “as green as our logo.” Activists in Cherry Hill today hope the hoax wasn’t just wishful thinking.
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