Today, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) hosts PUT CHASE ON THE RUN, a social media day of action, to convince Chase bank to stop funding mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains.
JP Morgan Chase is the biggest U.S. financier of Mountaintop Removal (MTR). Mountaintop removal is the highly destructive mining practice that blows apart the tops of mountains in order to access coal in the cheapest way possible. MTR has buried over 2000 miles of rivers and streams and destroyed nearly 1.2 million acres of the Appalachian range. MTR has severely contaminated the air and drinking water, causing increased rates of mortality and disease for local people in the mountains of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Join dozens of organizations and thousands of online activists in convincing Chase to stop destroying American mountains. Take a simple action on your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, blog or email to end mountaintop removal in 2010. Go to www.DirtyMoney.org for instructions and PUT CHASE ON THE RUN!
- MTR has destroyed nearly 1.2 million acres of Appalachian forest and mountains
- MTR has buried over 2000 miles of rivers and streams with debris and pollution
- Tap water in many Appalachian communities is not safe to drink due to coal contamination
- MTR techniques resulted in a 29% loss of jobs from 1987-1997, even as coal production rose 32%
- JP Morgan Chase is the biggest funder in the U.S. of mountaintop removal coal mining
This story is personal for me. Aside from the fact that I can think of few things more heinous than cutting off the top of a mountain and dumping it in a stream along with all the pollution of land, air and water that goes with it, not to mention the horrendous economic damage done, I have an account at JP Morgan Chase. I didn't used to. When I moved to Louisville 20 plus years ago, I opened an account at a branch of Liberty National Bank that was just down the street. And check out this lovely picture of their downtown office. It was sort of like the bar in Cheers--everyone knew your name. Then Liberty was bought by Bank One and that in turn was swallowed by Chase. It never occurred to me to look into the politics of what they do with money until now, but I am deeply offended and angry. You are not being a good citizen of this state if you are destroying it. The little branch office where I go still maintains the Cheers-like familiarity but when you look beneath the surface, it doesn't feel so friendly anymore.
It is a major pain in the ass to move your bank account, especially when you have things on auto-pay as I do. I would prefer not to have to waste my time with all that. What I do plan to do is take a copy of this post with me the next time I go to the bank and give it to the branch manager and if you have an account at Chase, I urge you to do the same. It is not okay for big banks to come into our communities and destroy them (and Chase has a pretty nasty record with home foreclosures too), and they don't need our loyalty, even after 20 plus years, if they do so.