The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Haswell Communications Director (415) 659-0519
Nell Greenberg
Communications Manager (415) 659-0557
Margaret Swink
Communications Manager (415) 659-0541

Thousands to Protest Citi and Bank of America's Coal Investments

National Coal Day of Action to include demonstrations in more than 50 cities


Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has recruited thousands of activists in more than 50 cities across the U.S. to protest Citi and Bank of America's coal investments in a mass demonstration against coal and coal finance that will take place Nov. 14-15.

RAN and the thousands of citizens who plan to participate in the Day of Action are demanding that the top financiers of the coal industry, Citi and Bank of America, lead the transition to a 21st-century clean energy economy that will put people to work and avert catastrophic climate change.

"The science is clear: a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, and phase-out of existing coal plants, is essential if we want to preserve creation, the life on our planet, for young people and future generations," said Dr. James Hansen, the nation's leading climate scientist, in promoting the Day of Action.

The National Day of Action - organized by RAN, Rising Tide North America, Greenpeace and others - will feature marches, flyering at local bank branches, creative street theater, and non-violent direct actions at bank offices. Cities where actions will take place include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and St. Louis.

"Investments made today by the world's leading financial institutions will shape our climate and economy for decades to come," said Rebecca Tarbotton, director of RAN's Global Finance Campaign. "Just as risky bank investments mortgaged the economic future of millions of American families, gambling on coal will mortgage our climate unless banks immediately start funding renewable energies rather than dirty fossil fuels."

Coal is responsible for nearly 40 percent of America's global warming emissions. Citi is the nation's largest coal financier, providing financial support to 45 companies that have proposed new coal power plants. Currently, 110 coal plants are still slated for development in the United States.

Bank of America is involved with eight of the U.S's top mountaintop removal coal-mining operators, which collectively produce more than 250 million tons of coal each year. Mountaintop removal flattens mountain ranges and transforms healthy mountain woodlands into toxic sludge that has clogged more than 700 miles of rivers and streams. The practice is a major threat to the existence of many Appalachian communities.

"Citi and Bank of America are the ATMs of the coal industry," said Lauren Valle, an organizer of the New York actions. "I am participating in this Day of Action to tell Citi and Bank of America that their destructive investments are threatening our homes, our savings, and our climate. These banks must take responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of their financing."

Four years ago, environmentalists in the U.S. raised concerns over plans to build 150 coal-fired power stations nationwide. Today, the growing national coal movement has defeated dozens of these plans and is actively opposing the rest. While Al Gore has called for young people to participate in civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants, urban and rural communities are demonstrating that it is a moral imperative to stop climate-killing coal plants in their tracks.

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Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices staff in Tokyo, Japan, and Edmonton, Canada, plus thousands of volunteer scientists, teachers, parents, students and other concerned citizens around the world. We believe that a sustainable world can be created in our lifetime and that aggressive action must be taken immediately to leave a safe and secure world for our children.