Marathon Sponsor Accused of Financing Pollution of Chicago’s Air
CHICAGO—This weekend when 45,000 runners join the Bank of America-funded Chicago marathon, the route will take them past one of the city’s dirtiest and most controversial coal plants, the Midwest Generation Fisk plant, which is also financed by the bank. The environmental group Rainforest Action Network has found that just last year Bank of America provided $66 million in financing to Edison International and its subsidiary Midwest Generation.
SAN FRANCISCO— Bank customers around the country have an opportunity to show their discontent with the big banks by pledging to close their Bank of America accounts as part of a new effort launched today from Rainforest Action Network. The ‘not one more dollar’ pledges will be bundled—much like the big banks packaged mortgages for sale—and presented to Bank of America executives in protest of the bank’s funding of coal, the country’s number one contributor to climate change. (1)
The US may lack a comprehensive climate and energy strategy to mitigate coal use and ramp up the use of renewable energy, but it does have the EPA and father time combining to put pressure on utilities to close down aging coal fired power plants now. The cost of a retrofit required by new national standards for nitrogen oxide and mercury emissions have influenced Virginia-based Dominion Resources to close the State Line Power Station, a plant first constructed in the 1920s.
Little Village, Chicago—At 10:00am today, six activists with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), Rising Tide North America, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and the Backbone Campaign climbed the fence to Midwest Generation’s controversial Crawford coal plant in Little Village. The activists unfurled a 7’ x 30’ banner atop a 20-foot tall sprawling coal pile that feeds the power plant, which reads: “Close Chicago’s Toxic Coal Plants.”
SAN FRANCISCO—A new report card issued today by Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club ranks ten of the world’s largest banks on their financing of mountaintop removal coal mining projects. Since 2010, the report card found that the top three financiers of the destructive mining practice are PNC, Citi, and UBS. Deutsche Bank and GE Capital received failing grades for having no policy in place to guide funding of mining companies. Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo were found to have the strongest policies in the sector.
San Francisco—Today Rainforest Action Network (RAN) released The Principle Matter: Banks, Climate & The Carbon Principles, a new report assessing the impact of the much-lauded 2008 Carbon Principles signed by six of the country’s leading banks. In reviewing bank investment from January 2008 to June of 2010, the report found that there is no evidence that the Carbon Principles stopped or slowed financing to carbon-intensive projects. In addition, the report found that there is no evidence that the Carbon Principles spurred investment in clean energy in greater levels.