Drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic endangers one of our planet’s most pristine wilderness areas, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Harsh, unpredictable weather can lead to catastrophic accidents—especially oil spills—that are impossible to fix. Oil spills located under ice cover, for example, pose a particular risk.
This is why Bank of the West does not finance onshore or offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic region, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Perceived short-term rewards simply do not outweigh the real long-range risks. For more about our stance regarding Arctic drilling, please see the policy document linked here.