Bank of America (BAC_)'s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday was dominated by speeches from anti-coal activists, prompting CEO Brian Moynihan on at least one occasion to ask whether anyone had anything else to discuss.
"Anyone have a comment other than climate change?" Moynihan said as the meeting approached the two-hour mark. "Let's diversify a bit."
Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) were the top three financiers of the coal industry last year, according to a report today from three environmental groups.
The three banks helped underwrite bonds or loans totaling $8 billion for mountaintop removal coal-mining operations and power plants, or 38 percent of the total $20.8 billion investment for such activities last year, according to the fourth annual Coal Finance Report Card from the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and the Sierra Club.
San Francisco, CA – Today, Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Sierra Club and BankTrack released the fourth annual coal finance report card,“Extreme Investments: U.S Banks and the Coal Industry.” The report finds that in 2012 the banking sector financed $20.8 billion for the dirtiest coal companies, even as U.S. coal consumption for power generation fell 11 percent and as mounting scientific evidence confirmed coal’s extreme impact on health and climate change.
CHARLOTTE—Today, Bank of America announced plans to host its Annual shareholder’s meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 8 amid strong opposition to the bank’s ongoing funding of the coal industry, the leading contributor to climate change pollution in the U.S. While the Charlotte-based bank invests heavily in strategies to bolster its green public image, it remains the top financier of the failing U.S. coal industry.
In response to the announcement, Amanda Starbuck, Director of the Energy and Finance Program at Rainforest Action Network issued the following statement:
SAN FRANCISCO—A report released today by Rainforest Action Network details risks associated with Arch Coal and its plans to develop a new mountaintop removal coal mine at Blair Mountain in West Virginia.
WASHINGTON, DC—Today lawmakers in the US House of Representatives introduced the Appalachian Community Health Emergency Act(ACHE Act, HR 526)to protect Appalachian families and communities from the nation’s most extreme form of coal mining, mountaintop removal.
SAN FRANCISCO—New research released today in a Coal Risk Update by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) details how selenium discharges could expose Alpha Natural Resources to financial risks from water contamination at mountaintop removal mines. In 2012, environmental groups filed four separate lawsuits alleging repeated pollution violations at mine outfalls that could cost the company millions.
BOSTON–Rainforest Action Network (RAN) will present Banks, Climate Justice and the Green Economy tonight at the Democracy Center in Cambridge at 6:30 p.m. The first of several events planned in the Greater Boston area, the dialogue will focus on banks’ responsibility to address climate impacts stemming from financing fossil fuels like coal. Speakers include social justice advocate and business leader Bob Massie, Harvard divestment activist Alli Welton, and Rabbi Margie Klein of Moishe House Boston, among others.