Our Work: Energy Program

RAN Mountaintop Removal Campaign in Washington DC. Photo: Michael Butcher / Butcher Photography

Rainforest Action Network believes that corporate exploitation of coal and oil is a crime that demands bold and strident resistance. Everyday, RAN challenges corporate power with hard-hitting campaigns that prioritize the long-term health of our local communities and our global climate.


Coal is the biggest single source of carbon pollution in the U.S. To protect our climate and public health, we must decrease our country’s reliance on coal and destabilize the power of the coal industry while building demand for a clean energy economy. Over the last few years, the anti-coal movement has seen significant victories: cancelling 150 proposed coal fired power plants and significantly reducing mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining in Appalachia. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has played an important role in these battles: pushing the banking industry to address their financing of new coal and MTR and pushing the U.S. Administration to tighten their enforcement of surface mining.

Tar Sands

From pressuring President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, to standing with First Nations and other impacted communities, to telling the big banks to stop underwriting tar sands exploitation, RAN has been on the frontlines of stopping the insanity of developing Canada’s tar sands, the second largest pool of carbon found on the planet.

Some examples of our work in coal and tar sands:

Direct Action 

When negotiation, grassroots organizing and public pressure fail to convince a corporation to do the right thing, RAN does not shy away from utilizing creative, nonviolent civil disobedience to make sure our message is heard. 

The No Keystone XL Movement Needs You
More than 75,000 people, including many of you, have signed the Pledge of Resistance to stop the Keystone XL pipeline—pledging to participate in peaceful civil disobedience to stop this dangerous tar sands pipeline.

The Chicago 22: Arrested for telling Obama to stop the Keystone XL pipeline 
People are ready for their government to take urgent action on the climate and they are willing to risk arrest to get it.

Activists shut down four Bank of America branches
Local grandmother Patricia Moore was among those arrested today in front of an Uptown Charlotte BofA branch. Pat spoke to the gathering crowd with dignity and deep emotion about her concern for her granddaughter who suffers from chronic asthma after growing up in close proximity to five coal-fired power plants that surround the city of Charlotte.

Ran Activists Driving Consumer Demand

RAN educates consumers and corporate customers to make socially and environmentally informed purchasing choices that place pressure on companies to improve their business practices.

VIDEO: Mountaintop Removal is an American Tragedy
That’s exactly what actress and RAN ally Susan Sarandon has to say in our new video on mountaintop removal coal mining: It’s way past time for the world’s banks to stop funding the wholesale destruction of Appalachia’s ecosystems. 

Students Give Bank of America a Reality Check
Bank of America campus recruiters get a reality check about Bank of America’s involvement in the financing of the coal industry.

RAN Protests Coal Export Kingpin Ambre Energy
Ambre has chosen the breathtaking Columbia River as its main artery for the Longview coal port, which would ship millions of tons of coal each year to Asia.

Boardroom image Boardroom Negotiation

RAN works to get companies to the negotiating table and then helps them develop and implement precedent setting policies to protect our environmental and public health.


Royal Bank of Canada Takes Steps Away from Tar Sands With Support for First Nation Rights
RAN has successfully pushed some of the largest banks to stop underwriting loans for tar sands development on the lands of First Nations.

Coal Finance Report Card: Which Banks Made the Grade
It’s way past time for the world’s biggest banks to stop funding the wholesale destruction of our climate, our ecosystems and our communities.

Banks Bail on Coal; Top 4 banks Cut Financing for Massey Energy
Two years ago no bank had a policy on coal mining, and Wall Street was providing finance and credit indiscriminately to the most destructive form of mining in the country.

working with frontline communities Frontline Community Support

RAN believes that the best way to keep fossil fuels in the ground, protect our climate and challenge corporate power is by standing alongside communities that are most directly impacted by our coal and oil addiction. 

Chicago Activists Close Down Their Filthy Coal Plants
A testament to the struggle of thousands of people at community-led organizations that have been fighting to close these plants for years, including LVEJO in Little Village and PERRO in Pilsen, as well our own RAN Chicago chapter.

Communities ask Bank of America: Start Funding Solutions, Instead of Pollution
People from communities around the world converged in Charlotte for BofA’s shareholder meeting to deliver a clear message: Quit Funding Coal.

Defending Appalachian History
The corporations take advantage of people in Appalachia, and this is happening all over Appalachia, not just West Virginia… We have to save one mountain at a time.” -Psera Newman, Lexington KY

Learn More

RAN is proud to stand and work with frontline communities who are directly challenging corporate pollution in their local neighborhoods.
We do not need coal, a 19th century technology, to power our 21st century world. Coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of man-made CO2 emissions. This makes closing coal plants job Number 1 to save the climate.