When we got word that Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan was visiting our fine city of San Francisco this week, we knew that we needed to track him down and have a frank conversation about his bank quitting coal.
RAN is calling on the biggest U.S. banks to stop financing the polluting coal industry and to fund the future — clean renewable energy — instead. But Bank of America seems deaf to our message: over the past two years the bank has provided more than $4.3 billion finance for the U.S. coal industry, money that is used to destroy mountains in Appalachia and keep the most polluting power plants poisoning families with their dirty air.
How do you find Brian Moynihan in a big city? We decided to hunt in San Francisco’s most exclusive venues.
To start our mission off, we got a tip that there was a fancy party taking place at the SFMOMA art museum. On arrival, this looked like the type of party that Brian would enjoy. The tables were lined with champagne glasses and the room was full of impeccably dressed guests.
As the venue is an art museum, we thought it would be fitting to create our own art installation. Medium: red, white and blue helium balloons with suspended “Wanted: Brian Moynihan” flyers. We installed this art piece at the entrance to the museum and passed out “Wanted” handbills to guests as they arrived at the museum, along with a banner that stated “Brian Moynihan: Put People Before Coal and Oil”.
From conversation with guests, we learned that Brian was indeed attending dinner at the museum. And suddenly there he was, walking into the museum. We called out to Brian, asking him to end his bank’s underwriting of coal, but Brian’s security detail didn’t allow him to engage in conversation with us and hustled him into the museum, towards the Champagne bar.
We’d certainly made our protest visible, but we still wanted to have a real conversation with Brian. So we set off to our next destination — the luxury hotel where Brian is staying during his SF visit. There we passed out wanted posters: placing them in bars, bathrooms and under the door of each guest room (as we couldn’t be sure which room was Brian’s).
Will our team find Brian? And will he have a real conversation about coal with RAN? The hunt continues…