The following letter was sent to Phyllis Campbell, the Chief of the Pacific Northwest division of JPMorgan Chase.

March 2, 2020

Phyllis Campbell

Chair, Pacific Northwest Region at JP Morgan Chase

Dear Ms. Campbell,

“Risk is important for career success… If you are a little nervous about it, you sometimes need to just do it, and I think that’s an important piece of advice.”* 

A chief representative of JP Morgan Chase knows well that a financial institution has to weigh the potential cost of taking a risk, including organizational reputation and long-term fiscal health. 

In this time of immense climate crisis, acknowledged by Chase, the coal, oil, and gas industry (“fossil fuel industry”) has entered a newly intensified period of economic vulnerability. Chase could be facing these risks proactively and leading the financial sector in forging a new path away from this volatile industry. Instead, Chase has increased its funding of the fossil fuel industry and of fossil fuel infrastructure projects around the country. See Banking on Climate Change, 2019. The 2020 Investor Day concessions by Chase Bank are minimal compared to the damage being done by continued funding of the fossil fuel industry, and do nothing to address our focus in writing to you today.

One of the proposed infrastructure projects for which Chase is providing a significant investment is the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal in Southern Oregon (“Jordan Cove project”). Pembina, a Canadian energy company, seeks to build a 229-mile pipeline to transport gas obtained by hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) across Oregon, to then be liquified in a new export facility in Coos Bay, and shipped to markets overseas. This project has faced immense opposition since it was originally proposed in 2005, and currently awaits Federal approval with all three of their needed state permits from Oregon agencies either denied or withdrawn.

As the attached Investor Briefing from May 2019, Jordan Cove is Risky Business, notes: risks to the bank’s investment stem from massive public resistance to this project plus regulatory risks; market risks; and safety and liability risks. Risks to the community arise from extreme safety hazards; degradation of private land via highly questionable use of eminent domain; degradation of public land and water; and environmental justice impacts. If built, the Jordan Cove project would be the largest emitter of carbon in the state of Oregon, contributing over two million tons of C02 into the atmosphere per year. This extreme climate impact would create risk far beyond Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, but throughout our entire atmosphere. 

We assume that your time leading the Seattle Foundation showed you firsthand how community fabric is both critical and vulnerable. This proposed project shreds the community fabric of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest region. By choosing to fund Pembina and the Jordan Cove Energy Project, JP Morgan Chase is knowingly devastating Oregon’s drinking water, tribal resources and communities, private property rights, ecosystems, and local industries. This project is a catastrophic risk for the local and global community. 

Now is the time to assess the risk of continued investment in fossil fuels in the face of massive negative consequences. It is time, in your words, to “pay it forward”* to future generations in our shared community of the Pacific Northwest and the world, and to landowners, tribal members, crabbers, fishers, farmers, and community members in Southern Oregon. 

As members of organizations fighting the climate crisis throughout Oregon, we are urging you to cease funding of Pembina and the Jordan Cove Energy Project. We urge you to take a strong advocacy position for the people of the Pacific Northwest, while upholding Chase’s long-term fiduciary duty. Chase must commit to zeroing out financing of the fossil fuel industry on a timeline, at a minimum, compatible with the IPCC 1.5°C “United in Science” Report trajectory. Cancelling all support for the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Southern Oregon is an obvious and necessary first step. 

We are calling on you to be a supportive neighbor to Oregonians. We look forward to your response, to:

Dineen O’Rourke, 350PDX Campaign Manager

1820 NE 21st Ave

Portland OR 97212


350 PDX

350 Corvallis

350 Eugene

350 Salem

Cascadia Wildlands

Center for Sustainable Economy

Citizens for Renewables

Families for a Liveable Climate

Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Portland Youth Climate Council

Rogue Climate

Stop Fracked Gas PDX

Sunrise Movement, Eugene

Sunrise Movement, PDX

Surfrider Foundation, Coos Bay Chapter

Sustainable Energy & Economy Network

University of Oregon – Climate Justice League

* At head of JPMorgan Chase’s operations in the Northwest, Phyllis Campbell looks back on upward career path (2018) 

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