Posts By Ben Collins

Ben Collins - who has written 12 posts on Rainforest Action Network Blog.

Ben Collins is a research and policy campaigner with RAN's Energy and Finance Program.

Barclays: The Biggest Banker of Mountaintop Removal Coal

By Ben Collins, April 21 2014

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Barclays: The Biggest Banker of Mountaintop Removal Coal

This year’s grades for the banks that finance the worst coal companies are in, and they’re not pretty. Financing companies that use mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining practices puts communities, the environment, and bank shareholders at risk. But last year, several banks continued to hand billions of dollars to top producers of mountaintop removal coal–earning [...]

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Extreme Coal – No Longer Business as Usual

By Ben Collins, April 17 2014

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Extreme Coal – No Longer Business as Usual

For the first time since we began publishing coal finance report cards five years ago, we have an encouraging trend to report: Major banks have begun making noise about the growing financial risk associated with climate change—and specifically associated with coal, the top global contributor to carbon pollution. On top of that, major banks have [...]

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Banking on Coal: New BankTrack Report Highlights Bank Complicity in Global Coal Mining Boom

By Ben Collins, December 12 2013

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Banking on Coal: New BankTrack Report Highlights Bank Complicity in Global Coal Mining Boom

“Most innovative investment bank for climate change.” – Citigroup “Mak(ing) your life greener and help(ing) tackle climate change.” – Morgan Stanley “Financing a low carbon economy.” – Bank of America When banks tout slogans such as these, you might expect them to mean that they plan to phase out financing for coal, the single largest [...]

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Coal India to Investors: What’s a Few Billion Tons of Coal Between Friends?

By Ben Collins, September 24 2013

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Coal India to Investors: What’s a Few Billion Tons of Coal Between Friends?

Yesterday, Greenpeace and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a report that reveals that Coal India, the world’s largest coal miner, may be overstating its coal reserves by an estimated 3.5 billion metric tons. As the company and its bankers prepare a new offering of Coal India shares to the investing [...]

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Dump Now, Pay Later: Coal Risk Update on Coal Ash

By Ben Collins, July 2 2013

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Dump Now, Pay Later: Coal Risk Update on Coal Ash

Each year, the U.S. coal-fired power plant fleet produces over 130 million tons of coal ash. And while this ash frequently contains arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxic chemicals that threaten human health, it is less regulated than your household trash. For decades, power plants have disposed of coal ash in over 2,000 landfills and [...]

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Bank of America’s New Corporate Social Responsibility Report Defends Business-as-Usual on Coal

By Ben Collins, June 24 2013

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Bank of America’s New Corporate Social Responsibility Report Defends Business-as-Usual on Coal

This morning, Bank of America released its 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, which falls well short of committing to the serious action we need from banks on climate change. Just ahead of the president’s climate speech tomorrow, which is anticipated to set reductions for emissions from existing power plants, it is disappointing to find [...]

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Charlotte Teach-In: “We can no longer afford to stand still like we’re not a part of this planet.”

By Ben Collins, May 8 2013

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Charlotte Teach-In: “We can no longer afford to stand still like we’re not a part of this planet.”

Last night, Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church in Charlotte graciously hosted a panel discussion on “Communities and Coal.” We were lucky to hear from panelists from communities impacted by coal in Appalachia and the Pacific Northwest, as well as from experts on the health consequences of climate change and the growing impacts of coal on communities [...]

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Extreme Investments: 2013 Coal Finance Report Card

By Ben Collins, April 29 2013

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Extreme Investments: 2013 Coal Finance Report Card

Today, RAN, Sierra Club, and BankTrack launched our 2013 Coal Finance Report Card. This year’s report, entitled “Extreme Investments: U.S. Banks and the Coal Industry” evaluates the largest U.S. banks in terms of their financing of companies engaged in coal extraction, transport, and combustion. As our title indicates, coal has become an extreme investment. Long [...]

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“It’s Easier to Mine Coal Without People Around.”

By Ben Collins, March 4 2013

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“It’s Easier to Mine Coal Without People Around.”

RAN’s latest Coal Risk Update highlights the potential human rights impacts of a planned mountaintop removal mine in Blair, West Virginia. Blair Mountain is a national treasure: The mountain is the site of arguably the most important post-Civil War battlefield in the US. Currently, Arch Coal plans to build a mine that would destroy the [...]

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Selenium Trouble at Alpha Natural Resources: Estimating Risk to Investors from Mine Emissions

By Ben Collins, February 4 2013

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Selenium Trouble at Alpha Natural Resources: Estimating Risk to Investors from Mine Emissions

Alpha Natural Resources’s lawyers have had their hands full with environmental litigation lately, as we detail in a RAN Coal Risk Update released today. During 2012, environmental groups filed multiple lawsuits against Alpha over alleged water contamination from selenium at the company’s mountaintop removal mines. The company’s 2011 sustainability report advertised that it had a “99.7% [...]

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