Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Banks of America

A lot of those I know are really upset that big banks are getting bailout because they are thought to be too big to fail or some such poppycock. However, the economic power of banks can also be used to do good, especially when they are convinced that there is a downside to doing otherwise.

Click Read more! and I'll give you a great example.

I was a strong supporter of Jesse Johnson as he ran for Governor of West Virginia. As far as I was concerned, this was the best shot to take political action against the mining political complex that dominates West Virginia, its politics, its economy, its life.

Of course, the best best way to influence an economic decision is to cut off funding, and that is beginning to happen. Thanks to Los Angeles Green, Lisa Taylor, I learned about the new "Coal Policy" at Bank of America.

From my role with the EcoAction Committee, GP US, I have pushed to take on coal on two fronts. First as a major contributor to greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere which we all know is a major contributor to global warming. The second is the fact that big coal companies in Appalacia have taken strip mining to entirely new levels. Now, they take the tops off mountains and fill in the surrounding valley's and streams, creating a new wasteland.

The first step may be to cut of devlopment funding and that is exactly what B of A is doing.
Bank of America is particularly concerned about surface mining conducted through mountain top removal in locations such as central Appalachia. We therefore will phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountain top removal. While we acknowledge that surface mining is economically efficient and creates jobs, it can be conducted in a way that minimizes environmental impacts in certain geographies.
What ever you think about banks and bailouts, sometimes they do do the right thing. George Bailey would approve.

Now, however, we need to make sure that B of A is not the only one. Every bank needs to be pressured to follow their lead. If you have an account at a major bank, threaten to transfer it to B of A. In these times, no bank wants to lose a client.

No comments: