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Nordea cuts three firms involved in protest-hit Dakota Access Pipeline

Nordea, the Nordic banking and investment group, has decided to exclude three companies from its investment universe as a result of their involvement in the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project in the US.

Nordea has divested from bonds issued by Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics, and Philips 66, in part due to the companies’ unwillingness to talk about the issue.

“The US Department of the Army announced on 7 February 2017 that it intends to grant the final permit for the pipeline,” Nordea said.

This action would make it possible for the pipeline to be built in accordance with the current cabling under Lake Oahe, and close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, it said.

“The US Department of the Army has also cancelled the plan for a further environmental assessment,” Nordea said.

The group said it had sought a dialogue with the three companies behind the pipeline about the possibility of an alternative location, but to no avail.

“The companies have chosen not to enter into any kind of dialogue with Nordea,” it said.

In November, Norway’s Kommunal Landspensjonskasse (KLP) sent one of its staff to North Dakota to assess the situation surrounding the underground pipeline, after the plans had drawn huge protests from Native American tribes and other people worried about the environmental impact.

At the time, the project had been temporarily stopped by the US government.

President Barack Obama said in November that the US government was looking at ways of re-routing the controversial oil pipeline, in order to accommodate the land of Native Americans.

But in late January, new president Donald Trump signed orders easing the path for the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines, in line with his aims of expanding energy infrastructure and reversing environmental action taken by his predecessor’s administration.

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