ALAMEDA — The city of Alameda has taken the first steps toward divesting more than $36 million from its accounts at Wells Fargo over the bank’s involvement with the Dakota Access pipeline and the bank’s history of controversial practices.
The City Council voted unanimously early Wednesday morning to immediately refrain from investing in the bank’s securities and told city officials to begin the process of securing a new bank.
Along with the Dakota Access pipeline, the council’s actions are a response to last year’s scandal in which regulators found that the San Francisco-based bank set up accounts for consumers without their knowledge to meet sales goals, which led to $185 million in fines and the firing of at least 5,300 employees.
“If there is bad behavior and we do nothing about it, then we are passively condoning it,” said Vice Mayor Malia Vella, who, along with Councilman Jim Oddie, put the city’s involvement with Wells Fargo on the council’s agenda.
Center for Media and Democracy released 7,564 pages of e-mails
Organization sued to get documents from Oklahoma state
Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday.
The documents, released under court order to the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, follow a pitched battle over whether Pruitt should lead the Environmental Protection Agency, culminating in a narrow 52-46 vote Friday to confirm him.
Overall, the 7,564 pages of e-mails the center published online reveal a chummy relationship between Pruitt and an array of companies, including oil and gas producers active in Oklahoma. Officials at Devon Energy Corp.,Koch Industries Inc., the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and others at times counseled Pruitt on the best strategies for combating environmental regulations meant to protect the air and water — rules he is now tasked with overseeing as the EPA administrator.
Correspondence discussing talking points and arranging meetings on those policy matters are sprinkled with personal touches. For instance, Devon Energy representatives gave staff members in Pruitt’s office tips on the best Oklahoma City restaurants; one staff member asked for help taking her children to the top of Devon Tower. Other e-mails invited Pruitt staff to happy hours with an employee of the Oklahoma-based natural gas transporters Access Midstream Partners LP, which was later acquired by pipeline operator Williams Cos.
EPA Chief Woos Staff Skeptical of Tilt to Pro-Energy Mission