As has happened in several eco-minded cities, Boulder’s City Council passed a resolution about a year ago to consider severing ties with JP Morgan Chase in support of the Standing Rock Sioux and allies who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline. After several months of exploration, staff reported to the Council in October that it did not appear there were any banks both capable of handing the city’s significant banking needs and able to meet the city’s standards on fossil fuels and other ethical matters.
In response, a coalition of 23 different groups — among them: Earth Guardians, Elephant Journal, 350 Colorado, Kids Against Fracking and Rainforest Action Network — co-signed a letter to the council that argues there is, in fact, an option to maximize both objectives: a Public Bank.
"We call on the city of Boulder to continue its climate leadership by moving our city's funds out of JP Morgan Chase as rapidly as feasible.
"Additionally, we urge you to find a suitable banking alternative that aligns with out city's values, using public funds for local renewable energy and community development projects instead of extreme energy extraction, beginning with authorizing a full feasibility analysis of creating a Boulder Public Bank."
The 23 groups condemned JP Morgan Chase not only for its relationship to the Dakota Access Pipeline, but also for its association with fracking projects in Colorado, and for its status as "the No. 1 funder of tar sands oil."
Boulder’s Mayor Suzanne Jones said at least one Councilmember expressed disappointment that a better banking option had not presented itself. Jones says at a minimum, city staff will respond to the Public Bank concept and Council will discuss it as a group, likely on Dec 19.