Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Is There Coal in Your Credit Card?  Green America Ranks Top Cards and Urges “Breaking Up” With Mega-Banks for Valentine’s Day

Chase and Citi Cards Get “F” for Investing in Coal-Fired Power and Mining, BofA and Wells Fargo Get D- and D+; Cards from Smaller Banks Get A+ for Shunning Coal and Focusing on Bettering Communities

February 11, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC -- Concerned consumers who do not want to do business with banks that support coal-fired power plants and coal mining should take the opportunity of Valentine’s Day to break up with their mega-bank and switch to credit cards from smaller, community development banks and credit unions that shun dirty fossil fuels, according to the nonprofit Green America.

In a new ranking at http://www.greenamerica.org/PDF/2014BigCoal.pdf based on the nearly $21 billion in financing that major banks provided to coal plants and coal mining, Green America assigned the following grades:

  • Chase and Citigroup:  F.
  • Bank of America and Wells Fargo:  D- and D+, respectively.
  • US Bank and Capital One:  C- and C+, respectively.

The institutions earning A+ rankings were community development banks and credit unions that shun financing for coal:

Green America noted that two other major credit cards – American Express and Discover – do not have business models that are likely to support coal-related financing.  However, both of those cards were awarded lower than A+ grades since they are not focused on supporting communities.

Green America Corporate Responsibility Division Director Todd Larsen said:  “If you have irreconcilable differences between dirty fossil fuel and your personal values, it’s time to take action.  Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for concerned consumers to reach into their wallets and purses, remove mega-bank credit cards that support dirty fossil fuels and to replace them with credit cards from fossil-free community development banks. Green America’s Take Charge of Your Card Campaign makes it easy to do.”

Larsen explained that there are three things consumers can do on Valentine’s Day to make a clean break between their personal finances and dirty energy:

  • Dump your mega-bank credit card and get a credit card with a responsible bank or credit union!   Go to the Take Charge of Your Card campaign (www.greenamerica.org/go/takecharge) to find a better card.
  • Move your checking and savings account to community development banks and credit unions that are supporting people and the planet.  Go to the Break Up With Your Megabank Campaign  (www.BreakUpWithYourMega-Bank.org) to find hundreds of options.
  • Take part in fossil fuel divestment.  Make your investment portfolio fossil-fuel-company-free and support clean energy today!  Find resources in Green America’s Fossil Fuel Divestment Guide:  www.GreenAmerica.org/fossilfree/.  

The Green America bank scorecard is based on research from the Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club, and Banktrack.  For more information on the role of major banks in coal-related financing see: http://ran.org/coal-finance-reportcard-2013.

ABOUT GREEN AMERICA

Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses, investors, and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems. http://www.greenamerica.org. 

MEDIA CONTACT:  Will Harwood, (703) 276-3255 or wharwood@hastingsgroup.com


MEDIA INQUIRIES

Please contact Todd Larsen by email
or by phone at 202-872-5307.