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BofA 'occupied' over coal sector support

Nov. 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM   |   Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- In solidarity with the Occupy movement, Rainforest Action Network said it was protesting Bank of America's backing of coal at the bank's North Carolina office.

Rainforest Action Network said two of its activists scaled a 50-foot flagpole at the Charlotte, N.C., headquarters of Bank of America to display a banner protesting the bank's financial backing of the U.S. coal industry.

The advocacy group said the bank has invested about $1.3 billion more into the U.S. coal sector than any other major bank in the United States.

"If Bank of America would like to regain the trust of the 99 percent, it must adopt sound economic and environmental policies that reflect the values of its customers," said RAN campaign director Amanda Starbuck in a statement. "Bank of America can start by getting out of bed with the coal industry and shifting its funding toward renewable energy sources that will have long-term benefits for our environment, our health and our economy."

The Occupy movement, among other things, is protesting against economic imbalances between super-rich and the rest of the citizenry.

RAN said burning coal accounts for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The group is calling on the bank to end its support for coal sector and end its relationship with companies engaged in mountaintop removal coal mining.

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