A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why environmentalists should move their money

As the U.S. economy slowly recovers from its recession nightmare it’s critical that the American people wake up and actively engage in solutions. We have the power to fight against the corporate interests of the institutions that caused this crisis. As average citizens, we can choose not to support these financial juggernauts by moving our personal finances into small, local banks and credit unions. There are numerous reasons to move your money from the Wells Fargos and U.S. Banks of the world and this blog series reviews just a handful.

As environmentalists, we sometimes think our issues are siloed off and separate from the rest of American political culture, but more and more of us are drawing the link between our issues and issues like fair revenue raising and campaign finance reform. Recently, with the increasing discussion of Wall Street and the Big Banks, it’s important for environmentalists to recognize that our opposition is guilty by association. The Big Banks and Big Oil are working hand in hand. As many Americans have lost jobs, lost homes, and lost money, Big Oil, much like their Big Bank allies, have made money hand over fist.

Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase are some of the largest funders of British Petroleum, the company responsible for the largest oil spill in U.S. history and who continually oppose clean energy policies and projects.

Additionally, Bank of America and Citi Group are some of the largest funders of coal companies investing $4.3 billion and $2.8 billion dollars respectively during 2009/2010 according to Bloomberg’s league table.

Environmental organizations and individuals supportive of environmental causes should move their money from the Big Banks and into small, local banks and credit unions. We must support a broad-based movement to reduce the political power of the Big Banks. In doing so we will strike a blow to a major ally of Big Oil while simultaneously investing in the very communities we work to protect.

Written by Jamison Tessneer

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