Don’t Be Fossil Fooled!

Posted: April 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ever heard of Fossil Fools Day? It falls on April 1st each year and began in 2004 when environmental groups began making a mockery of the year’s biggest “Fossil Fool”.

This year, Philadelphia environmentalists told morning commuters not to be “fossil fooled” by PNC Bank – a bank that calls itself “A Green Bank with Eco-Friendly Service”. PNC Bank has direct and indirect connections to mountaintop removal coal mining.

Activists protest PNC Bank's funding of mountaintop removal.

In 2003, there was the $55 million line of credit PNC provided to Massey Energy, the most aggressive mountaintop removal mining company in the coal industry. In 2006, PNC assisted Peabody Energy in establishing a $2.75 billion credit facility. Then, in 2008, PNC held 33% of BlackRock shares. BlackRock is an leading asset management firm with energy portfolios that focus on coal companies, including companies that practice mountaintop removal. And today, PNC’s CEO, James E. Rohr, is called an “insider” member of BlackRock’s Board of Directors.

Morning protesters with Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) and Rising Tide Philly were quick to shine a light on these connections. The group of approximately 30 sang classic folk songs with altered lyrics to reveal the connections and their good-natured prank.

As commuters stepped off the bus at 1600 Market St., they heard new renditions of “where have all the flowers [mountains] gone”, “Go tell it on a mountain”, “She’ll be coming around the mountain” and other classics. While protesters kept the songs and mood playful, some wearing jester hats and holding massive fake checks, they raised serious concerns.

Several protest participants took to a ‘soap box’ to tell passers-by that they were standing in solidarity with the people of Appalachia whose water and health have been compromised by mountaintop removal. Soap boxers also told the crowd that they are excited to see PNC Bank take a leadership role in Green Building initiatives at their banks. They called on the Bank to do more. Protesters call on PNC to stop doing business with “climate criminals” like mountaintop removal companies and to invest in climate solutions and energy independence. Their call was to Bank Like Appalachia Matters (BLAM).

Protesters line up outside PNC.

You can take a look at more photos from Fossil Fools Day on Flickr

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