Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

Written by Japhet

Topics: Climate

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Citigroup Inc, a company we continue to work extensively with on developing environmental standards for its funding policies, is lagging behind. Way behind.

Some of you may have read the article in the WSJ this morning about the laggardly shuffle Citigroup seems to be doing around the issue of climate change. Specifically, the massive coal fired-power plant project of Dallas-based utility TXU, which continues to draw attention to itself as one of the most questionable energy projects since Three Gorges Dam was proposed in China. At a time when global warming threatens our natural world why would bank actively endorse and arrange funding for a project that will spew out as much CO2 and mercury as entire countries?

The TXU project, estimated at over $10 billion, will spit out 78 million tons of carbon annually. Along with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, Citigroup is helping to arrange the financing of the project. Fittingly, this Valentine’s Day we will be meeting with Citigroup to discuss their stance on TXU and how they can develop and implement a modern climate policy.

Central in the coming discussion likely will be what responsibility, if any, Citigroup has to only do business with clients that embrace eco-friendly ways. Thus far, Citigroup has imposed environmentally beneficial policies on itself, but refused to jettison big polluters or dictate specifically what its energy-producing clients must do beyond what the law and financial prudence require.

It’s pathetic that our country’s most powerful investment companies are bragging about having 3% of their total energy come from clean sources. They have every possible resource at their disposal (power and wealth) to actually change the way this country handles energy consumption and we’re forced to listen to their grand accomplishments of cutting their “greenhouse gas emissions by 10% by 2011.” Is that really a company that takes its future seriously? Is that really a company that takes OUR future seriously?

Just because they worked on passing a policy with us back in 2004 doesn’t mean that this work is done. Both of us have to continue stepping it up and making changes to make the policy stronger, more robust. The last few years Citigroup has been lagging. In 2006 they served as the largest arranger of corporate financing for the power, oil and natural gas industries, a $582 billion dollar market share.

They’ll say that there is money in these markets, that the bottom line is too important and if tampered with could devastate the company. Thats a false choice. It assumes that there is no profit to be had in sustainable energy companies, that there is no future in anything but coal, oil and gas. This is not how Americans reached the moon in 7 years or held back the threat of fascism in our world.

Maybe, our country’s financial leaders should take a little hint from the likes of this man. At least he’s helping to fund a solution.

We’ve got an online petition running right that over 3,200 of you have signed so far. Our goal is to get more than 4,000 signatures before the February 21st court date on whether or not grant permits for the planned power plants.

26 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Daniel Dewberry says:

    We need to invest in cleaner energy forms. There is plenty of money to be made from other sources like wind, solar, and fuel cells.

  2. Ron Disarle says:

    It is more than enough posturing ,,lets DO SOMETHING

  3. Arthur Deckard says:

    What get’s me is Bush turned back the emmission standards and after the cole powered plant is built they will ask to be grandfather in so they don’t have to build a modern plant. I just don’t know why they are allowed to do this, do you W. Bush.

  4. gale white says:

    do not put our children at risk again by going backwards using coal. enough poison to the enviorment is enough.

  5. Sara Fisch says:

    Solar, solar, solar!!!

  6. Carole Conama says:

    A whole 3% of your total energy come from clean sources. my thats impressive!

  7. Colleen Carr says:

    For our childrens sakes and the health of the planet. clean up your act. That is the least you can do with the profits you are gorging on right now!

  8. Linda Earhart says:

    This is such an arrogant position considering the state of the environment and global warming. Don’t they have children that will inherit the polluted earth they are creating? 10% reduction by 2011 is an insult.

  9. dogan ozkan says:

    What get’s me is Bush turned back the emmission standards and after the cole powered plant is built they will ask to be grandfather in so they don’t have to build a modern plant. I just don’t know why they are allowed to do this, do you W. Bush.

  10. Jennifer Zunino-smith says:

    PLEASE DO NOT TURN THE CLOCK BACK!! George Bush did enough damage- lets lead by his dirty errors!

    PLEASE do not further poison our environment and our planet.

  11. Bonnie Newburg says:

    Once again industry proves that all they care about is the almighty dollar, and not our health or the health of our home planet. What do we need to do to get through to these people that we have had enough?

  12. Richard D. Sampson says:

    Profit and greed are the motives of the coal companies and the pollution spreads far and wide. They must clean up their corporate act. Companies in Canada, for example, have found profitability in being “green”.

  13. Mary Gutzwiller says:

    The big money guys are intent on making lots of money. Too bad. They can’t take it with them. They can leave it to their children and grandchildren, but that money will not un-pollute the air their progeny will breathe. It will not purify the water they will need for life, nor will it save the low-lying lands from the devastation of global warming. Aren’t the big money guys smart enough to know that some things are more important than MONEY? LIFE, for instance.

  14. Marlon Harwood says:

    That goes for you too, Australia! Stop mining coal. And show some guts by signing the Kyoto agreement instead of riding on the coat tails of you-know- who.

  15. Robin Down says:

    We all need to support public financing of elections and get these greedy crooked lobbyists and politicians out of Washington and out of public policy. Person agenda and special interests are ruining this country! We also need to support pending reforms of computerized voting which threatens to make us all irrelevant. Wake up America before it’s too late!

  16. White Feather Curtiss says:

    You have an opportunity now to change the situation for the good of all,
    Breathe Peace, exhale solutions!

  17. Nora Desmond says:

    All of us are in this life together (globally). The actions of a few seriously threaten our safety and even way of life. When you are in a position to make a real difference in our quality of life, you have a obligation to consider the effects of your action on the entire earth. Please for our safety as well as yours and your family, please do the right thing and stop funding for TXU.

  18. Nancy Cagle says:

    We either hang together or we die separately wiith no way out. We must not use coal unless the FutureGen system is used. NO “grandfathering” here! NO coal! We-the-People are gpong to have to save ourselves from all our governments everythwhere! Stop funding the coal plants.Stick with natural gas, Solar, and wind power, nuclear if we have to! Just DO the Right Thing!

  19. Shame on you Citigroup Inc, for not caring enough about your planet. Remember it effects your kids and grandkids too. No planet, no life. It’s not to late.

  20. Dr. Douglas W. Schell says:

    I have NOT decided yet whether mankind is significantly adding to climate change but this project does NOT make sense as it certainly adds to dangerous pollution. Build a Nuclear power plant instead.

  21. Gloria Sferra says:

    There are other sources of energy available. Lets use them rather than coal.

  22. Paul Aldrich says:

    We need to vastly improve our ways and use of energy. Additonal coal plants is not an improvement.

  23. Damari says:

    Citibank doesn’t care about employees, who will clean them up? Letter sent to Senator Barbara Boxer re Citibank ethics and unequal and unfair treatment of employees
    To: Senator Barbara Boxer, Feb. 18, 2007
    Also: Jason J Chan,
    1700 Montgomery Street, Suite 240
    San Francisco, Ca.94111

    Regarding your letter of February 5, 2007, thank you. You state that you will submit a formal inquiry to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and that this may take up to 4-5 weeks. In that case I have taken the liberty to put together this binder as to hopefully speed up the process or maybe just so you have it to review.
    In this binder I can show the Jeff Ursino was not fair and equal to all the employees and although others violated policy I am the only one he fired. Citibank did not follow their own policy much less that of the Ca. Labor laws and codes.
    I don’t believe that Citibank has been honest with their clients as well as the DFEH and DOL.
    Citibank did not submit a new statement regarding 11/15/05 to the DFEH and seem to stand behind their “ bad Information”. I worked the day they state I called in and supposedly stated that I would be out the rest of the week, not true. What else is branch 915, Jeff Ursino, Kathleen Munoz and their corporate attorneys in New York willing to lie about?
    Please help us get to the truth about why Jeff really fired me. Why does Citibank stand behind Jeff and his lies and much more? The teller that left about $10,000.00 out is still working their and to my knowledge was not written up and yet this was worse for the bank than me just wanting to care for my daughter and having my doctor call in for me.
    Jeff made error after error with the write ups and the firing procedure of Citibank. Why did Jeff Ursino and Citibank feel I wasn’t worthy of an exit interview? Why was I fired at home and not at my place of work? Why was I not given a verbal or informal warning as is Citibank policy?
    Please go through or have someone review my notes and proof of their dishonesty. Please help us and all those wrongfully terminated by corporate America.. It is time for Corporate America ethics Reform. Senator Boxer if I had been a bad employee I would have just walked away but I wasn’t. I have letters from clients that truly appreciated me and my work and even Citibank has acknowledge that I was great for the Carmel branch, so why fire me and throw me out like yesterdays trash? Because Jeff Ursino just didn’t like me and was out to fire me from the moment he threaten me with job abandonment before I had ever missed a Saturday. Why? As I told Dr. Lowell and all the other doctors I have seen, “this just doesn’t make sense!” I have spent the past 14 months fighting for my rights, please help me and my family, we need more moms like me that want to be their for their children and teenagers are children.
    I look forward to hearing from you, thank you so very much for writing back or at least someone from your office, thanks Jason J. Chan.
    Sincerely,
    Damari Stratford
    God Bless Us All

  24. Nahanni Southern says:

    It is detrimental to humans,animals and the entire ecosystem that the rainforest is preserved…Please make sure that this is done…

  25. Damari says:

    Working mother at Citibank, how did they make the list of the “Best 100 Companies for Working Mothers? Fired for putting daughters needs first? Fired via UPS, 12 days before Christmas?
    Please forward to anyone that could help us, thanks.
    Keep this story going so we can get help. Tell a friend to tell a friend, how else can the little guy fight corporate America?
    Please help us if you can along with the Senator, this letter was sent to the Senator:

    To: Senator Barbara Boxer, Feb. 18, 2007
    Also: Jason J Chan,
    1700 Montgomery Street, Suite 240
    San Francisco, Ca.94111

    Regarding your letter of February 5, 2007, thank you. You state that you will submit a formal inquiry to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and that this may take up to 4-5 weeks. In that case I have taken the liberty to put together this binder as to hopefully speed up the process or maybe just so you have it to review.
    In this binder I can show the Jeff Ursino was not fair and equal to all the employees and although others violated policy I am the only one he fired. Citibank did not follow their own policy much less that of the Ca. Labor laws and codes.
    I don’t believe that Citibank has been honest with their clients as well as the DFEH and DOL.
    Citibank did not submit a new statement regarding 11/15/05 to the DFEH and seem to stand behind their “ bad Information”. I worked the day they state I called in and supposedly stated that I would be out the rest of the week, not true. What else is branch 915, Jeff Ursino, Kathleen Munoz and their corporate attorneys in New York willing to lie about?
    Please help us get to the truth about why Jeff really fired me. Why does Citibank stand behind Jeff and his lies and much more? The teller that left about $10,000.00 out is still working their and to my knowledge was not written up and yet this was worse for the bank than me just wanting to care for my daughter and having my doctor call in for me.
    Jeff made error after error with the write ups and the firing procedure of Citibank. Why did Jeff Ursino and Citibank feel I wasn’t worthy of an exit interview? Why was I fired at home and not at my place of work? Why was I not given a verbal or informal warning as is Citibank policy?
    Please go through or have someone review my notes and proof of their dishonesty. Please help us and all those wrongfully terminated by corporate America.. It is time for Corporate America ethics Reform. Senator Boxer if I had been a bad employee I would have just walked away but I wasn’t. I have letters from clients that truly appreciated me and my work and even Citibank has acknowledge that I was great for the Carmel branch, so why fire me and throw me out like yesterdays trash? Because Jeff Ursino just didn’t like me and was out to fire me from the moment he threaten me with job abandonment before I had ever missed a Saturday. Why? As I told Dr. Lowell and all the other doctors I have seen, “this just doesn’t make sense!” I have spent the past 14 months fighting for my rights, please help me and my family, we need more moms like me that want to be their for their children and teenagers are children.
    I look forward to hearing from you, thank you so very much for writing back or at least someone from your office, thanks Jason J. Chan.
    Sincerely,
    Damari Stratford
    1291 Ord Grove Ave, Seaside, Ca 93955-3119
    Cell 831-236-0112 Home 831-583-9077 Fax 831-393-9464

    AS OF 4/21/06 SENT TO THE GOVERNOR
    I SPOKE WITH THE EMPLOYEE RELATIONS DIRECTOR OF CITIGROUP TODAY, IT WAS ADMITTED THAT THERE WAS SOME WRONG INFORMATION GIVEN TO THE DFEH REGARDING THE 15th and17th OF NOVEMBER, 2005. CITIBANK WILL BE SENDING IN A “NEW’ RESPONSE DUE TO NOT DOING THE INVESTIGATION THOROUGHLY THE FIRST TIME. SO WHAT ELSE ARE THEY NOT DOING THOROUGHLY OR ETHICALLY?
    THANK YOU
    As of 2007 they never submitted the correct information
    A BETTER EXPLANATION Mother fired by Citibank for no good reason
    I am searching for an Employment Attorney willing to work on a contingency basis. I was fired while I was out sick, the managers states in a note added to my personnel file that he had called me to see if I would be coming into work on Dec. 13th but yet with my letter of termination he returned to me the faxed in doctors note, faxed in at 3:44p.m. on 12/12/05 by my doctor, which clearly stated that I would be out from 12/12-12/16/05. He sent me my letter of termination thru UPS, which arrive on 12/15/05. The manager knew that I was out on work related stress and I had a workers comp case pending. The manager states that I was fired for not complying with my warning and I asked how I could comply if I wasn’t there to comply so then I get a letter from HR stating that I was fired for failure to follow the call in process but my doctor had called in for me on the 12th due to my stress level and blood pressure. The doctor had spoken to the supervisor on the 12th so they were aware that I wouldn’t be in on the 13th and my doctor has the notes on my file that she had made a call in for me. Citibank did not follow their own procedures when they fired me. The EEOC has given me the right to sue and the letter arrived on 2/17/06 so my 90 days have started. The DFEH has also launched their own investigation which Citibank received notice on 1/23/06 and should be responding to the notice any day now, (as of 3/8/06they haven’t responded). I had an outstanding performance history with the bank; I had worked there for 4 years 2 months 6 days. I was the head teller one of the notary and the only Spanish-speaking teller. I have at least 40 letters of support from Citibank clients and I can prove that the manager was not equal with all the employees and although he was aware of the teller cooking the books under the direction of the supervisor none of them were put on corrective action yet I was written up for missing my first Saturday and then again when I missed my 2nd Saturday although I had a doctors note to be out of work due to my blood pressure and stress brought on by the manage and the unfairness in treatment. I had been threaten with job abandonment but at that time I hadn’t missed any work long enough to be accused for this. Citibank violated code 132A of the worker comp law and I do have an attorney for that but they are unable to deal with all the other issues. I have a strong feeling that the manager never told HR that my doctor had called in for me nor did he share my doctors note with them, he is to get approval from HR before firing me yet fired me by 4:30 pm or so, I had also emailed him that day at 1:45 pm and explained that my doctor had spoken to the supervisor and faxed in a note, again he was aware that I wouldn’t be in. The manager had called my cell phone and left a message at about 10:25 am, he states that he called because I hadn’t called in a half an hour prior to my shift, which started at 8:30 a.m., why did it take him 2 hrs before calling me? And I would bet that the supervisor had made arrangements to have a teller there to cover my shift since my doctor called her. Please help my family and I. Sincerely, Damari
    Please forward to anyone willing to help us, thanks>

    March 8, 2007
    To: Senator Barbara Boxer
    Also: Jason J Chan,
    1700 Montgomery Street, Suite 240
    San Francisco, Ca.94111

    Dear Senator Barbara Boxer,

    On, 3/7/07, I received a notice from Citigroup, HR Communications Unit in New York, regarding Corporate benefits for January 2007, I have included a copy with this fax to you..
    I am at the point that I feel this is harassment, why, because Citibank fired me on 12/13/05. It is very upsetting to me every time I receive these notices, it is a constant reminded of everything I have lost due to the unfair and unequal treatment of employees by Jeff Ursino and Citibank. I have already been sent my 401K check due to my termination, I am not contributing to this program so why does Citigroup keep harassing me with these notices. Remember that last October, 2006, Citigroup sent me a letter ( 10 months after firing me) thanking me for 5 years of services and looking forward to 5 more years, why, they fired me. I would have made it to 5 years, as I had no plans to leave the company, but I was fired 12 days before Christmas via UPS. That notice was again just another reminded of what could have been and what I have lost. Please ask Citigroup to stop harassing me with these notices for they are very upsetting to me.
    Also, on 3/7/07, I received a letter from your Director of Constituent Services, Eric Jose Vizcaino, regarding a letter I sent you and it states that my concerns are being forwarded to the Director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Suzanne M Ambrose, for her review. Again, Citibank attorneys explained to the DFEH, how and why they fired me and as I pointed out to you in an earlier letter, Citibank lied to them about me calling in on 11/15/05, Citibank states that I called in and said I would be out the rest of the week. Again this is a lie, I worked that day. Sheri Paulo, Employee Relations manager of New York for Citigroup, had told me that they said this due to being miss informed , when I brought this lie up to her attention, she said that they had been given bad information and that they would correct this by sending in another statement to the DFEH, and to my knowledge they never did and instead stand by their lie. I have sent you a copy of my time card for that week and other information regarding their statement to the DFEH. Why does Citibank tell the DFEH that I was fired and Ronan of the US Dept. of Labor that I am still employed. They also told Ronan that they would send me a letter explaining how I am still employed, but I never received this letter, why? Last June, Citigroup gave me stock, which I refused due to being fired and Chuck Prince office acknowledges receiving my letter explaining that I had been fired and that I should not have been issued the stock and they took the stock back. I have also sent you a copy of that letter in the black binder which I sent to your San Francisco office, did you receive this binder?
    Please , Senator Boxer, please help us get to the truth, it is as if Citibank doesn’t know what the left hand is doing or the right hand is doing, please help stop the harassment. How many more letters am I going to be sent by Citigroup informing me of everything I have lost.
    Sincerely,
    Damari Stratford
    1291 Ord Grove Ave, Seaside, Ca. 93955
    831-583-9077 (home) 831-236-0112 (cell) 831-393-9464 (fax)

  26. Damari says:

    To whom it may concern, 10/03/2007

    A CRY FOR HELP

    Please help the little person fight corporate America and their lies and false statements

    On, Feb. 16, 2006 someone representing Citigroup Inc at One Court Square, 14th Floor, Long Island City, NY 11120, submitted a rebuttal to Ann Luekeman, Consultant for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing at 111 N Market Street, Suite 810, San Jose Ca 95112, and the statement entered is false and full of lies . Ann Luekeman also conducted the interviews for the investigation and was also lied to by Jeff Ursino and Kathleen Munoz during their interviews. I feel that the case needs to be investigated due to the fact that the DFEH made their decision with false statements submitted by Citigroup attorney and their employees. Sheri Paulo, the Employee Relations director for Citigroup was aware of the false information submitted yet even though they/she said they would submit a new statement they did not and stood by the lies knowing they were lies. I was wrongfully termination, harassed, by Jeff Ursino, and I can’t understand how an attorney lies to the DFEH and then they aren’t held accountable. This is unethical behavior on all those whom lied and I have to pay for their lies. Citigroup violated several Ca labor codes in the process of firing me nor did Citibank follow their own firing procedures. I was not offered FMLA until months later.
    I am begging that someone out there will help a mother who was simply trying to work be a mom and a wife making a honest living yet the manager and supervisor both lied as well as the Citigroup lawyers. Their lawyers requested more time to answer the DFEH yet submitted false information and this is unethical, please help us. I have been on disability since I was fired on 12/13/05 via UPS, I did not know I had lost my job until 12/15/05 because I was out on a workers comp pending case when I was fired. Violation 132A.My last pay check was direct deposited into my checking account, it was not included with my letter of termination. I would like to know who submitted these false statements for Citicorp and or Citibank and Citigroup. I don’t have a team of attorneys as they do or the funds to hire the right attorney to get to the truth. Please help us.

    Sincerely,

    Damari Stratford
    1291 Ord Grove Ave
    Seaside, Ca 93955
    831-236-0112

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