Ojibwe water protector Tara Houska arrested resisting the Mountain Valley Pipeline that is financed by Canadian banks

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo by Appalachians Against Pipelines.

Native News Online reports: “On Monday [October 16], Ojibwe attorney Tara Houska was arrested for criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor in Virginia, after she locked herself to construction equipment at a Mountain Valley Pipeline construction site in Elliston, Virginia [400 kilometres south-west of Washington, DC].”

“Houska told Native News Online that she was released on Tuesday [October 17] after posting $2,000 cash bail for criminal trespassing in Montgomery County.”

The article by Darren Thompson adds: “[Houska and two others, Emily Adamski and Louisa Kornblatt] locked themselves to construction equipment at sites along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route and halted drilling under the highway and train tracks next to the Roanoke River for the day.”

Appalachians Against Pipelines highlighted: “We also take action today to name the connection between MVP & the genocide unfolding in Gaza. MVP would supply gas to the Pentagon and the Radford Army Ammunition Plant, which is operated by BAE Systems – a corporation that supplies Israel with white phosphorus & other weapons.”

Photo by Appalachians Against Pipelines.

Human Rights Watch has stated that Israel’s “use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas of Gaza violates the requirement under international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to avoid civilian injury and loss of life.”

After she was released, Houska stated: “Chi-miigwech to every person around the globe marching for Palestine, giving their hearts and their love, refusing to look away and be complicit.”

She further commented: “We cannot succumb to powerlessness. The real power I have encountered in this world is in the people, in nature. We will not back down when we stand with truth and love in our hearts. For the earth, for our children. End apartheid. Free Gaza. Stop Mountain Valley Pipeline.”

Canadian banks finance Mountain Valley Pipeline

Banking on Climate Chaos and others have collaboratively noted that American banks are financing the pipeline and ask: Will US banks become the next target for activists fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline? (August 24, 2023).

We further note that Canadian banks are also financing the companies behind the pipeline, a joint venture of EQT Midstream Partners (45.5%); NextEra Energy Resources (31%); Con Edison Transmission (12.5%); WGL Midstream (10%) and RGC Midstream (1%).

The Mountain Valley Pipeline received its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on October 13, 2017, and construction began in early 2018.

Equitrans Midstream Corp. (ETRN) was reportedly spun off of EQT Corp. in 2018, but EQT retains shares in ETRN.

Figures from the Banking on Climate Chaos 2023 report indicate that since 2018, Canadian banks have provided USD $3.197 billion to EQM Midstream Partners.

Since 2016, Canadian banks have also provided USD $1.27 billion to the other partners in the consortium building the pipeline.

That includes RBC providing $303.48 million to NextEra Energy Capital Holdings Inc., $9.29 million to NextEra Energy Operating Partners LP, and $88.27 million to WGL Holdings Inc. The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) provided $46.22 million to NextEra Energy Capital Holdings Inc., $9.10 million to NextEra Energy Operating Partners LP, and $238.32 million to WGL Holdings Inc. The Bank of Montreal provided $116.74 million to NextEra Energy Capital Holdings Inc. Scotiabank provided $331.16 million to NextEra Energy Capital Holdings Inc. and $23.59 to NextEra Energy Operating Partners LP. And the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) provided $104.65 to NextEra Energy Capital Holdings Inc.

In 2016-17, EQT Corp. received USD $299.33 million from RBC. In subsequent years, as a holder in shares in Equitrans Midstream, Canadian banks have provided an additional USD $2.257 billion in financing to EQT Corp.

We continue to follow this situation.

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