Bank Of America, The Bank Of Coal




coalbanksbubblechart_550pxBank of America is one of the biggest banks in the world. With over $2 trillion in assets, branches in 43 states, more than 250,000 employees, and expanding operations in Asia, Europe the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Canada, the scale and reach of Bank of America's business is immense. The scale and reach of Bank of America's investments in coal are immense, as well. While the bank claims to take its responsibility for its investments' impacts on the environment and climate seriously in its corporate social responsibility reports, Bank of America is a leading investor in dirty, polluting coal. In fact, over the past two years, Bank of America has invested $4.3 billion in the coal industry, more than any other bank.

Bank of America invests in every dirty aspect of the coal industry, too. The bank routinely underwrites hundreds of millions of dollars in loans to Arch Coal and Peabody Energy, two of the biggest coal mining companies in the Powder River Basin that are desperately trying to secure a West Coast terminal facility to ship coal overseas and export coal pollution to Asia. Bank of America is also invested in companies like Edison International that own the old, dirty Fisk and Crawford Plants in urban Chicago. Investments in major infrastructure projects like coal terminals and existing coal-fired power plants commit us to burning coal for decades to come. It's long past time that Bank of America shift its investment dollars away from coal and toward clean, green renewable energy. RAN is demanding that Bank of America spend Not One More Dollar on coal. Its time that this bank make responsible investments in green energy solutions instead of bankrolling the coal industry. Our demands include:

  • No financing for companies pursuing new coal-fired power plants and life-extending retrofits of existing coal-fired power plants.
  • No financing for companies engaged in mountaintop removal coal mining.
  • No financing for companies pursuing coal export infrastructure.
  • Shift the balance of energy financing to support power generation that is less threatening to our health and environment.

Bank of America has an opportunity to lead the banking industry by developing a comprehensive coal policy that commits the company to shifting its financing away from coal and toward investments in renewable energy.

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From the cradle to the grave, coal is a risky business. Each stage in the life cycle of coal–extraction, transportation and combustion–presents increasing health, environmental, reputational, legislative and financial risks.