Big Banks Supporting the Environmental Catastrophe

According to new reports, big banks are continuing to work against the public interest by funding extreme fossil fuels. There are large profits involved, of course. Meanwhile, neither a Wall Street speculation tax and a carbon tax have been implemented. Both of those taxes should become law as part of creating a better society.

Threatening a climate-stable planet, the world’s biggest banks are continuing business-as-usual by continuing to provide funding for “extreme fossil fuels.”

So finds the latest Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card—produced by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club, and Oil Change International—which defines the “extreme” sources as tar sands, Arctic oil, ultra-deepwater oil, coal mining, coal power, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.

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Despite its worrying findings, there is a bit of good news the report. From 2015 to 2016, the analysis found, the amount the banks poured into extreme fossil fuels dropped 22 percent, from $111 billion down to $87 billion. But the report cautions that for the sake of the planet, this must not be “just a temporary decline.”

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A case study laid out in the report is TransCanada’s 1,179-mile Keystone XL pipeline (KXL), which would bring tar sands crude from the Canadian province of Alberta to Nebraska and link to an existing network of pipelines. While the pipeline is back, the report says, “so is the people power that fought to stop it the first time.”