The Billionaires for Coal are back on the streets once again – organizing their elite cadre in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Charlotte, North Carolina in defense of Bank of America’s investments in Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining.
Sipping “dirty martinis” made with coal and holding signs with slogans like “More profit, less mountains” and “Our bottom line is the bottom line,” the Billionaires for Coal have been gathering at branches of their favorite bank – calling attention to Bank of America’s investment priorities and defending their choices to fund the coal industry and ignore the environmental and human rights consequences coal mining and power.
In North Carolina, fifty percent of the coal used to produce energy is mined through the use of Mountaintop Removal (MTR), a practice that has leveled hundreds of square miles of Appalachian mountains and buried more that 1,500 miles of streams across the region. These mines have forced entire communities out of the mountains they have inhabited for generations, slowly depopulating the region and replacing rich mountain ecosystems with coal rubble. Coalfields residents have been finding their wells running dry; foundations of their homes being cracked; drinking water being polluted with heavy metals; and many have been killed by speeding, overweight coal trucks. Bank of America is a major funder of both coal companies that practice MTR, as well as power companies like Duke that are using MTR coal to fuel their power plants.
Some North Carolina residents however, seemed to disagree with the billionaires’ sentiments .