Sierra Club has been after JP Morgan Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon for talking a good game on climate action while his bank funds some of the biggest polluters in the country. Rainforest Action Network is also campaigning for Dimon to change his bank's ways and they recently brought letters to some of the bank's branch managers. I asked RAN campaigner Annie Sartor about why they did it.Who is your target with this and what are you trying to accomplish?
AS: RAN’s global finance campaign is working to end the practice of mountaintop removal coal mining. This work has two targets: the Obama EPA, and JP Morgan Chase Bank. We are putting pressure on decision makers at the EPA, and the Obama administration to enact a ban on MTR, and at the same time we are targeting the largest funder of MTR, JP Morgan Chase, to stop financing the practice.
How many activists are engaged with this effort?
AS: RAN’s network of 90,000 + members and online supporters are engaged with the effort to end MTR, and our networks of several dozen activists in New York City are putting direct pressure on JPMC. These activists and supporters are joined by 1000s of anti-MTR activists throughout Appalachia and around the country.
Where's Obama on MTR? Salazar?
AS: During his presidential campaign, Obama came out against mountaintop removal. More recently, the Obama administration has failed to significantly slow or stop the practice of MTR. This past June, the Obama administration announced efforts to regulate more tightly the practice of MTR – but failed to institute a ban or moratorium.
The Department of the Interior’s Ken Salazar negated Bush’s 11th-hour rule change to the Stream Buffer Zone rule in April, but has failed to move forward any plans to end MTR once and for all.
It's likely that Obama, Salazar, and the rest of the top level officials in the administration oppose MTR, but so far their policy decisions regarding MTR have done little (if anything) to slow the practice.
What's in store for Chase?
AS: RAN is campaigning hard on JP Morgan Chase, and we are demanding that they stop financing MTR immediately. We have planned numerous actions and events, along with regular twice-weekly visits to the headquarters building in Manhattan. JPMC CEO Jamie Dimon is hearing from us, and our voices will only grow louder!
Anything else you want to add?
AS: To get involved, visit nyactionnetwork.org.