Fracking Fiasco: The Banks That Fueled the U.S. Shale Bust

Published by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network.

September 2020

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A new report by Oil Change International and Rainforest Action Network (RAN) shows how major banks have continued pouring money into fracking companies in recent years, despite numerous warnings that the sector has been financially unsustainable, in addition to the well-documented environmental, health, and climate impacts of the shale industry.

This analysis compiles data from 51 U.S. fracking-focused companies, receiving USD 224 billion in financing since the adoption of the Paris Agreement. (January 2016 — August 2020). Nearly 40% of that financing came from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo alone, and combined with Citi and Bank of America, these four major Wall Street banks provided over half of financing for U.S. fracking-focused companies since 2016.

Banks and asset managers have enabled the oil and gas industry’s destructive boom and bust cycles for generations. But our planet cannot afford another oil boom. We need regulators, shareholders, and the public to force banks to consider the climate impact and demand they stop financing destructive and unstable business activities. Our collective health continues to be at risk, and we cannot let banks fund another oil boom when this pandemic passes.

Key Recommendations:

  • Banks should commit to phase out all financing for all companies with fracking operations;
  • Investors and asset manager should pressure oil majors and other companies to withdraw from the fracking sector, aligning policies and practices with a 1.5°C scenario; and
  • Lawmakers and regulators should pressure financial companies receiving public money to commit to phase out fossil financing, while ensuring a just transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Click here to download the full report.

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