Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Bank of America Sponsors Polluted Air and Chicago Marathon

Energy
Bank of America Sponsors Polluted Air and Chicago Marathon

Rainforest Action Network

When 45,000 runners join the Bank of America-funded Chicago marathon on Oct. 9, the route will take them past one of the city’s dirtiest and most controversial coal plants—the Midwest Generation Fisk plant, which is also financed by the bank. The environmental group Rainforest Action Network has found that just last year Bank of America provided $66 million in financing to Edison International and its subsidiary Midwest Generation.

Bank of America last week touted a company-funded report by the University of Illinois’ Regional Economics Applications Laboratory that estimated that the annual marathon event produced $171.5 million in business activity. However, this number barely makes up for the cost of hidden health damages from Chicago’s coal plants, which according to a report released by the Environmental Law and Policy Center have reached around $127 million per year.

“While Bank of America is touting the economic benefits of its marathon sponsorship, its core business practices are causing a drag on Chicago’s public health and the economy. The Bank of America marathon should be about supporting physical health and Chicago’s future. Sadly, as the lead financier of Chicago’s toxic coal plants, Bank of America is doing far more to keep the city’s air polluted, asthma rates up and coal plants standing,” said Amanda Starbuck, energy and finance program director for the Rainforest Action Network.

Chicago is the only major metropolitan area with not only one, but two polluting coal plants within the city limits. The Fisk and Crawford plants, both owned by Midwest Generation and financed by Bank of America, are located in the Pilsen and Little Village neighborhoods. This weekend’s marathon will run right by the Fisk plant in Pilsen.

Coal-fired power plants kill between 13,000 and 34,000 people a year—as many as one person every 15 minutes. That staggering figure includes the 42 Chicagoans who die as a result of pollution from Fisk and Crawford. According to a report from the Clean Air Task Force, residents are at risk for heart disease, cancer and respiratory illness because of pollution from these plants.

“Sponsoring marathons and funding billboard ads is Wall Street’s failed model for good corporate citizenship. Our standards for what the country needs from banks is much higher. Now more than ever, we need banks like Bank of America to show leadership in protecting the health of our economy and our communities,” continued Starbuck.

In addition to the toxic pollution, coal fired power plants are the biggest single source of global warming pollution in the U.S., which will cause sea-level rise and extreme weather, as well as droughts and lower crop yields. Together, Fisk and Crawford generate about 18 times the emissions of O’Hare airport’s ground operations and equal two-thirds of the CO2 emissions generated by all modes of transportation in Chicago.

For more information, click here.

Recycling and general waste plastic wheelie bins awaiting collection for disposal in Newport, Rhode Island. Tim Graham / Getty Images

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. According to The National Museum of American History, this popular slogan, with its iconic three arrows forming a triangle, embodied a national call to action to save the environment in the 1970s. In that same decade, the first Earth Day happened, the EPA was formed and Congress passed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, encouraging recycling and conservation of resources, Enviro Inc. reported.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The coal-fired Huaneng Power Plant in Huai 'an City, Jiangsu Province, China on Sept. 13, 2020. Costfoto / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

One of the silver linings of the coronavirus pandemic was the record drop in greenhouse gas emissions following national lockdowns. But that drop is set to all but reverse as economies begin to recover, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned Tuesday.

Read More Show Less
Trending
A grizzly bear killed an outdoor guide in a rare attack near Yellowstone Park. William Campbell / Corbis / Getty Images

A backcountry guide has died after being mauled by a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park.

Read More Show Less
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) re-introduces the Green New Deal in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2021. Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

In the latest of a flurry of proposed Green New Deal legislation, Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Monday introduced the Green New Deal for Cities Act of 2021, a $1 trillion plan to "tackle the environmental injustices that are making us and our children sick, costing us our homes, and destroying our planet."

Read More Show Less
Offshore oil and gas drillers have left more than 18,000 miles of pipelines at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Offshore oil and gas drillers have discarded and abandoned more than 18,000 miles of pipelines on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico since the 1960s, a report from the Government Accountability Office says.

Read More Show Less