Trans Mountain lender Desjardins may no longer financially back pipeline projects

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock is seen in Burnaby, B.C. Photo by Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

CALGARY, A.B. — According to a Thomson Reuters article, Canadian lender Desjardins is considering no longer funding energy pipelines, citing concerns about the impact such projects may have on the environment.

Desjardins, the largest association of credit unions in North America, temporarily suspended lending for such projects on Friday. Desjardins spokesperson Jacques Bouchard told Reuters in a telephone interview on Saturday that the lender could make the decision permanent. He said the lender would make a final decision in September.

Bouchard said that Dejardins, a backer of Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, has been evaluating its policy of lending for such projects for the past several months. If it makes the decision permanent, that would likely mean Desjardins would not help finance other major pipeline projects, including TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Energy East, or Enbridge’s Line 3 expansion.

Desjardins is among 24 financial institutions that agreed to lend money to  Kinder Morgan Canada to help finance the $7.4 billion pipeline expansion.

In June, a coalition of more than 20 indigenous and environmental groups, including Greenpeace, called on 28 major banks to pull funding for Trans Mountain, pointing to the risk of spills and its potential contribution to climate change.

Story courtesy Thomson Reuters: http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKBN19U00I-OCABS