Banks Take Heat for Financing Coal Power

UCSB Groups Protest Funding of Polluting Plants

To protest Bank of America’s financing of coal-fired power plant construction and mining, three UCSB student groups are planning to string yellow caution tape around the bank’s ATMs on campus and Isla Vista around noon on Friday, Nov. 16. The UCSB Campus Democrats, CalPIRG, and Campus Progress are participating in National Day of Action Against Coal, which are being organized nationally by the Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) Global Finance Campaign. RAN is targeting not only Bank of America but also Citibank, though no Citibank ATMs exist at UCSB or in Isla Vista. The protestors allege that the banks’ investments in the coal mining and in the construction of 150 new coal plants in the U.S. will result in more than 600 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. According to RAN, that is the equivalent of adding more than 100 million new passenger cars to U.S. roads, and equals the total 2002 greenhouse gas emissions from energy production of more than 95 percent of the world’s countries. The groups also object to coal plants because they emit the neurotoxin mercury which renders fish harmful to consumers.

Bank officials were not immediately available for comment. The protests are to take place at two Bank of America ATM locations: on campus in the Arbor, across from the library; and in Isla Vista near the intersection of Pardall Street and Embarcadero del Mar.

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