Pipeline Protest Targets Bank HQ In South Jersey
Over a dozen protestors gathered outside the headquarters of TD Bank on Route 70 East in Cherry Hill, New Jersey Monday morning with signs asking drivers to “honk for clean energy.”
Some of them did.
The group, organized by Rising Tide Philly, gathered in South Jersey as some 200 environmental activists staged a sit-in on the steps of the State Department in Washington, D.C. where federal regulators are considering an expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. TransCanada, the Canadian energy company behind the multi-billion dollar project, needs a Presidential Permit to build a new connection across the border from Alberta through the Bakken Shale region to Kansas.
The Cherry Hill protest was targeted at TD Bank’s role as a major investor the project. According to stockzoa.com, TD Asset Management owns more than $1 billion dollars worth of shares in TransCanada. A spokeswoman for TD Bank would not confirm how much stock the bank currently has in the energy company or the pipeline project.
“We support everyone’s right to safely and respectfully protest,” said TD Bank medial specialist Lauren Moyer.
Protest organizer Elias Schewel believes the bank is helping to push the Earth into “a climate disaster” by promoting non-renewable energy sources.
“This is not going to help us deal with the very serious consequences that are coming from climate change if we don’t stop now,” Schewel said.
The protest in Cherry Hill also drew some college students who said they want to see the private sector invest in renewable energy sources.
“To get things done, the private sector can have a very, very positive influence because there is just more capital,” said Ellie, a Northeastern University student who declined to give her last name. “However, it can go wrong, as we’re here today at TD Bank, because they did not use their capital in a sustainable way.”
Supporters of the pipeline say it will bring thousands of jobs to the U.S., while some environmentalists and landowners have resisted moving the project forward. President Barack Obama has thrown his support behind portions of the Keystone XL pipeline project, but Reuters reported in May, the administration is not expected to make a decision on the permit for the northern portion of the pipeline until later this year.