Three women stood outside the Wells Fargo Bank in central Fresno on Saturday afternoon urging customers to close their accounts with the bank, which they say would protect taxpayers and the environment.
Inga Minton represents Fresnans against Fracking and says Wells Fargo is investing in the Dakota Access Pipeline. She believes the pipeline is a mistake for taxpayers, who she says will be funding it for years to come.
The controversial pipeline is slated to run across the Missouri River, and opponents like Minton and Cherylyn Smith, vice president of Fresnans Against Fracking, say it threatens the drinking water and sacred sites for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Although the project was stalled under the Obama administration, President Donald Trump signed an order in January to continue work on the pipeline.
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Minton says Wells Fargo is not the only bank investing in the project. Other big names include Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citibank, she said.
They hope to get customers to think about what they might inadvertently be helping to fund by keeping their accounts open.
“People don’t realize, our money goes to things we don’t want it to,” Minton said.
The group also handed out fliers outside of the Wells Fargo branch in Fig Garden.
The manager of the bank declined to comment on the group outside. Wells Fargo corporate communications officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Some customers at the bank were unaware of the controversy and said they would need time to consider whether to close their accounts.