Offical Notice: Cease Financing Coal

Written by Amanda Starbuck

Topics: Clean Energy, Coal, Finance

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Chase Official NoticeTo: Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, PNC and Wells Fargo:

We regret to inform you that this bank is being put on Notice. Effective immediately you must begin to cease all financing of coal-fired power-plants and related infrastructure.

The Rainforest Action Network, our supporters and allies, being inhabitants of this planet, do hereby give you notice to cease and desist all coal financing.

Furthermore, you are hereby required to protect public health, economic security and the climate. First and foremost by limiting your exposure to coal financing and, thereby, limiting our exposure to air, water and climate pollution.

Furthermore, yoOfficial Notice Citiu must cease and desist financial relations with the nation’s leading coal companies until they end their addiction to coal, including but not limited to: AES Corporation; Alcoa Inc; Allegheny Energy; ALLETE Inc; Alliant Energy; Ambre Energy; Ameren Corporation; American Electric Power (AEP); Arch Coal; Atlantic Power Corporation; Berkshire Hathaway; Black Hills; Corporation; CMS Energy; Constellation Energy Group; Dominion Resources; DTE Energy Company; Duke Energy Coporation; Dynegy Inc; Edison International; Empire District Electric Co; Entergy Power; Generation Corp; FirstEnergy Generation Corp; Great Plains Energy; MDU Resources Group; MGE Energy; NiSource Inc; NRG Energy Inc; NV Energy; Peabody Energy; PNM Resources; PPL Corporation; Progress Energy; RRI Energy; SCANA Corporation; Southern Company; SSA Marine; TECO Energy; Transalta Corporation; UGI Corporation; Unisource Energy Development Company; Waste Management Inc; Westar Energy Inc; Westmoreland Coal Company; and Xcel Energy Inc.

Bank of America on noticeWe hereby demand that you adopt firm policies to include the following criteria:

  • 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 your energy financing to support power generation that is less threatening to our health and environment.

Official Notice Wells FargoConsider this your first warning. You are on notice to shift the focus of your energy portfolio to support clean, renewable power generation in the United States.

Rainforest Action Network will be monitoring you. You have three months. After which, we are prepared to apply public pressure to evict your coal portfolio and move clean energy into its place.

You can tell the country’s biggest banks to stop funding dirty coal and start investing in clean energy alternatives!

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

  1. Sense71 says:

    So what’s your answer for producing affordable electricity if we dump coal? And nuclear, and natural gas, for that matter? And don’t say wind and solar. They cannot create enough electricty to keep our economy from going back to the dark ages – no matter how much efficiency we promote.

    So, answer me this: what is your idea? Your photos are striking, the proposals are lovely … but what is the cold, hard, mathematically-based ideas you propose to sustain us without coal/nuke/gas?

    Just curious.

  2. Amanda Starbuck says:

    Thanks for your comment Sense71, you ask the $64,000 question: What’s the answer for producing affordable electricity if we dump coal, nuclear and natural gas?

    Well, the answer IS renewable energy – and that doesn’t mean we have to go back to the dark ages. (I’d like to ask you why you think that’s the case?)

    There are a number of different, science-based energy routemaps out there that demonstrate how we can do this, take for example WWF’s ‘The Energy Report’ which lays out the path to 100% renewable energy by 2050:

    http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/climate_carbon_energy/energy_solutions/renewable_energy/sustainable_energy_report/

  3. Matthew says:

    I find it odd that you are being so hard on PNC Bank and misrepresenting their policies on lending to coal. The policy was made public record earlier this year. It is my understanding that they have policies specific to mountain top removal that clearly state that they do not loan to coal companies whose primary mining practices involve mountain top removal. I appreciate the information given, but must question its authenticity based on this knowledge. We need to stop mountain top removal, however, to do so by providing false information would not be a gain that I would want to be a part of. I appreciate PNC’s policy and feel that it is a step in the right direction. I hope more banks soon follow.

  4. Amanda Starbuck says:

    Hi Matthew – thanks for your feedback.

    Can you tell me specifically where you feel I have misrepresented PNC’s position on Mountaintop removal (MTR)?

    PNC made a good step in the right direction in November 2010 when they announced a public policy on financing of mountaintop removal
    http://understory.ran.org/2010/11/02/another-big-bank-turns-away-from-mountaintop-removal/

    Policies like this demonstrate that PNC has concerns about MTR and is taking extra steps when considering their involvement with companies that produce MTR coal. However, what does this policy mean in practice?

    We’ve been paying close attention and have seen that since adopting this policy, PNC has continued to finance at least some of the companies who practice MTR:

    Patriot Coal – PNC bank served as a lender on a $500 million credit agreement in January 2011. Patriot is the 2nd largest producer of MTR coal, 55% of their mining operations in Appalachia in 2010 were MTR. In the most significant judicial decision to date to address selenium pollution from coal mines in Appalachia, a federal judge ordered Patriot Coal to prepare $45 million in secured credit to cover the costs of treating the pollutant at two of its coal mines in West Virginia.

    Arch – PNC served as Administrative Agent on a $700 million revolving credit facility in November 2010. Arch is the second largest coal company in the U.S. and approximately one-third of their coal production in Appalachia comes from MTR. In March of 2011, Arch was fined $4 million for dumping excessive amounts of pollutants into the waterways of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed a permit for Arch’s proposed Spruce mountaintop removal coal mine, which would have been the largest destructive mine in West Virginia, after the company rejected proposed environmental improvements costing just $0.55 per ton of coal.

    So I’m currently unclear as to which companies PNC will not finance under the terms of their current public MTR position and that is why it would be good to see:
    a) PNC strengthening their policy to fully exclude financing MTR coal mining operations;
    b) PNC reporting on the implementation of this policy in their annual report, this would demonstrate whether or not their new policy has led to different behavior around MTR financing;
    c) PNC shifting their energy portfolio to support clean, renewable energy generation in the same region that has had to bear the impacts of MTR coal mining.

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