There’s a sub-sector of fossil fuel extraction that’s proven to have particularly harsh ecological effects: unconventional oil and gas projects. Fracking extracts oil and gas from deep within shale and other types of rock, and can poison or pollute water in the areas where it is done. Tar sands mining inflicts immense environmental impact for relatively little reward. Two tons of tar sands must be mined to create enough gasoline to fill the tank of an SUV just one time.
Bank of the West is acting to mitigate these adverse impacts by not doing business with companies whose main activity involves fracking or tar sands mining. Financing in these segments must meet mandatory criteria including the ability to disclose performance on water use, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and land reclamation strategy, among others.
For more about how we restrict our financing of fracking, shale, and tar sands mining, please see the policy document linked here.