The Seattle City Council is big on symbolism, slow on action. They recently announced they’d cut ties with Well Fargo because they funded a small portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline and, ya know, the Council loves to tell us they heart the environment. But Wells Fargo called the City’s bluff and allowed them out of the contract early. Late last week, the City declined.
Citing The Seattle Times, the Associated Press said the Council and Mayor will stick with the evil, enviro-unfriendly Wells Fargo until the end of 2018, when their contract expires. They argue it’s too complex of an issue to get done before then. Weird how that works out: it’s such a complex issue they won’t be able to act on it until the end of the current contract.
It’s almost like the move was symbolic and motivated purely by their political beliefs, not their commitment to the environment. In fact, I’m assuming they’re betting you thought they severed ties when they took their vote a few weeks ago.
If they consider Wells Fargo to be so detrimental to the environment (either directly or indirectly), the Council should move with haste. But they’re not because they’re likely to stick with Wells Fargo past 2018.
In fact, I predict, in 2018, if anyone is still paying attention to the issue, the Council will re-sign with Wells Fargo (if they’ll have them) and argue that the bank has changed. They’ll cling to literally any excuse they can: maybe Wells Fargo didn’t back a similarly eco-unfriendly project and the Council will say it was their original pushback that got them to change their ways enough for them to earn back their business.
It’s an easy (and cowardly) move; the exact kind of move people like Councilmember Mike O’Brien is known for. They could have done their research before acquiring the failed bike share service Pronto!, for example. Instead, they chose to waste taxpayer dollars because the research into the company’s viability was too hard; as hard, apparently, as replacing Wells Fargo. They’re lazy and politically motivated. Kudos to Wells Fargo for helping highlight that.