Fortune’s Mark Gunther took a swipe at investment bank Merrill Lynch last week, calling them out on their support of the controversial TXU coal power plant deal down in Texas which will make TXU the largest corporate emitter of greenhouse gases in North America.
Its hard to really gauge how “green” Wall St. is, especially when deals like this involve 3 of the major investment banks in this hemisphere. The lead arrangers of the project are Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley are actively behind TXU’s coal project. Meanwhile, both banks are preaching how they support green initiatives in communities to support environmental awareness. Gunther gets to the heart of where the priorities are for these type of banks.
Citigroup was more forthcoming. Pam Flaherty, senior VP of global community relations, said the bank’s environmental policy puts projects in the developing world through rigorous screens. Environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth and RAN, have praised Citi’s policy, as well as its willingness to collaborate with green groups.
But when it comes to projects in America, they don’t? Why wouldn’t a bank like Merrill Lynch, or Bank of America, who have the clout and the ability to shape markets and affect change all over the planet, be able to say no to a project that will injure the citizens and environment of its own country? I hope the gold is worth it…
TXU has just announced funding for University of Texas-Arlington’s smog research, specifically around NOx (nitrogen oxide) the key component in smog. Whats impelling such a philanthropic move?
“Given the size and scale of TXU’s power development program in Texas, we will need advanced operational tools and techniques to make certain we meet our environmental commitments,” said Greene. “With the help of researchers at UT Arlington’s top-flight College of Engineering, TXU will develop a first-of-its kind NOx reduction management system that will result in significant NOx reductions here in Texas.”
Not only is TXU ignoring CO2 and mercury pollution in it’s attempt to solve the problem technologically, but they are also admitting that their current plan is no where near ready to be considered for approval by the EPA. While we appreciate TXU sinking milllions more into finding more ways to burn coal, it’s high time that we figure out another source of energy besides coal and oil.
TXU, instead of funding this program why not sink millions into becoming the world’s leading wind-power or solar power company?
And how great it would be if banks like Merrill Lynch, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley actually had the gall to start supporting these endeavors on a massive scale instead of being drawn to these projects like vulchers to rotting flesh. Here’s to holding up the banner of a higher goal.