For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Gabby Brown, gabby.brown@sierraclub.org, Caroline Hansley, caroline.hansley@sierraclub.org, 828-808-6151

Atlantic Coast Pipeline Opponents Rally Outside Bank of America Shareholder Meeting in Charlotte

Crowd calls on Bank of America to drop financing for fossil fuels.

Charlotte, NC - A crowd of activists rallied today outside of a meeting of Bank of America’s shareholders and executives to call on the Charlotte-based bank to drop its financing of dirty and destructive fossil fuel projects.

Bank of America is one of the leading banks on a multibillion-dollar loan covering half the construction cost of Duke and Dominion’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP),with Bank of America committing $225 million to the credit facility. ACP would run over 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina, slicing through pristine forests, scenic lands, and waterways. In addition to exacerbating climate change by leaking and burning methane, the pipeline’s construction threatens public health, air and water quality, and disproportionately affects low-income residents and communities of color.

Bank of America is also a key investor in the company behind the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which developers recently announced will extend into North Carolina. The crowd called on the bank to drop its funding for destructive pipelines like ACP and MVP and other dirty fossil fuel projects.

"The people of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia have been asked over and over to sacrifice our safety, security, health, and economy for dangerous and unnecessary fossil fuel projects like the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline that boost the profits of polluting corporations while leaving us to bear the costs," said Sierra Club Organizing Representative Caroline Hansley. "By funding the construction of the ACP, Bank of America is profiting off of the destruction of our communities. We'll be at their shareholder meeting to let them know that we won't back down until they pull their funding of this dirty, dangerous project."

“My family has been farming this land for over 100 years and it’s shameful that polluting corporations can take control of it to line their pockets,” said Marvin Winstead, a farmer and impacted landowner along the ACP route. “The fracked gas Atlantic Coast Pipeline is dirty, dangerous and a threat to my life and livelihood.”

“We don't need a bridge fuel -- we're already on the other side,” said Dr. Sarah Taber, an industrial growth strategist based in Fayetteville, North Carolina who has written extensively on the economic viability of gas and the likelihood that ACP will turn into a stranded asset. “Large portions of the U.S. and China are replacing old coal plants with wind and solar, not gas. That's because even after expiring subsidies and adding energy storage, solar and wind are still the cheapest option. In recognition of the dismal financial outlook of the fossil fuel industry, investors have divested over six trillion dollars in the last five years from financial institutions, like Bank of America, that back fossil fuel investments.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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