From blog: International Rivers by Berklee Lowrey-evans on 2011-04-28 00:04:00
I hold no illusions about how much political power in the U.S. lies in corporate hands. That’s why, a few years ago, I started to acquire a portfolio of shares in a number of banking and energy companies. As a shareholder, I’m entitled to one opportunity each year to question CEOs and senior executives about their company’s behavior and responsibilities. (This is far better access than I have to my Congresswoman, who always delegates her assistants and interns to attend constituent meetings.)
This morning I attended PNC bank’s shareholder meeting. I tend to find these events extremely self-congratulating, and today was no exception. We were treated to announcements about how (relatively) well the bank has been performing financially and the titles and awards that the bank has received this year, all before a video extolling PNC’s core values.
Two of those values stood out to me: “Commitment to community” and “Quality of life”. This was exactly what I came to talk about. When my opportunity came, I stepped up to the mic to introduce myself as a shareholder and explain RAN’s campaign for PNC to end their financing of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining. I asked CEO James Rohr to report on the impacts of the bank’s 2010 policy on MTR, and I introduced my friend, Amber Whittington, who accompanied me to the meeting.
Last week at Power Shift 2011, Rainforest Action Network teamed up with over a hundred youth to take the streets of Washington D.C. and speak a little truth to Wall Street’s power.
Today marks the close of the comment period for the public agencies to
submit their observations on the third and final addenda to the
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the HidroAysén project. This means that the Environmental Review Commission could approve or deny the project as early as tomorrow, although they have until May 16, 2011 to do so