What’s a fair amount of interest to pay on a loan? Think of your answer, and then ask yourself another question: Could you do business with a bank that you know is charging some customers as much as 365 percent interest on a loan? That’s exactly what is happening at some corporate mega-banks offering new loan products with names like […]
We can make a US clean-energy economy a reality by refusing to invest in companies that are destroying our planet. Instead, we can shift our investment dollars into clean energy, and support public policies that move us away from fossil fuels. Green America is proud to partner with 350.org on the national Go Fossil Free divestment campaign. The financial services […]
A: They receive a nice letter politely asking that they “use maximum discretion and effort” to meet their obligations. Shame on Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase, who are reported to be sitting on $130 million worth of insurance payments due to victims of Superstorm Sandy. Imagine if the banks’ customers could respond to the mega-banks with the same late fees and compound interest that mega-banks demand of their customers who are late with payments far smaller than $130 million! It’s just one more reason to Break Up With Your Mega-Bank. From CNN: “Families need to be able to return to their homes and the state economy, which took a hit from Superstorm Sandy, needs the boost from spending on repairs,” Cuomo said in a written statement. “After insurance companies have sent homeowners checks to pay for repairs, the money should not be sitting with the bank because of red tape.” The state’s Department of Financial Services found that four of the biggest U.S. banks — Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank and JP Morgan Chase — are holding more than 4,100 checks worth more $130 million. The banks were not immediately available for comment, though have maintained that they were socked with a massive amount in payouts that require processing in the wake of the storm.
The UK Guardian newspaper published last week that Apple’s own internal audits have now turned up multiple child-labor violations in its Chinese factories. The audit found more than 100 children under the age of 16 at 11 factories. The same report found incidences of other violations, including mandatory pregnancy tests, confiscation of workers’ wages to pay off recruitment agencies, and […]
Good news for lovers of renewable energy. According to figures released last June, wind and natural-gas ran roughly neck and neck for the title of New Energy Leader 2012. Then, according to Financial Energy Regulatory Commission figures published by Business Insider wind pulled ahead at the end of the year, ultimately installing 10.7 MW of new energy to 8.7MW of natural gas: American-based wind manufacturers remain undercapitalized — with the exception of towermaker Trinity Energy, which saw an explosive +60% 2H2012 — so it’s a bit difficult to trade on the trend. The big gust in new wind capacity was partially attributable accelerated installation ahead of the “wind cliff” manufacturers were facing — the government’s tax credit was set to expire. But it has been renewed for at least year, which could mean the trend will continue to sail along. Huge thanks to all Green Americans who pushed Congress to extend the wind-energy Production Tax Credit (PTC). Because Congress only extended the credit for one year, we’ll need to push again at the end of 2013.
Since 2006, more than 600 garment workers have died in sweatshop factory fires while sewing clothing for giant fashion companies, like Gap, H&M, JCPenney, and Abercrombie & Fitch.These tragic deaths could be prevented these companies would follow the lead of competitors like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, by agreeing to a fire-safety program that includes worker input, transparency, and binding commitments to protect workers. Six months ago Gap, publicly promised it would sign on to a worker safety program similar to the Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein agreement. Instead, this month Gap changed course. They announced their own, corporate-controlled, fire-safety program – one that includes no legal commitments to workers, no oversight by worker organizations, and no transparency. This is yet another instance of a giant corporation telling its customers: “Trust us; we care about our workers,” without actually implementing meaningful safety programs. Gap had already corporate-controlled programs in place when 29 workers were killed at their Bangladeshi supplier in December 2010. Join Bangladeshi and international unions and labor groups that are calling on Gap to stop the public relations games and commit to a real fire-safety program that will save the lives of the company’s sweatshop workers. Please send Gap executives an e-mail today »
On my vacation this year from my work as Green America’s online editor and coordinator of our People & Planet Award for green businesses, I had the good fortune to visit the headquarters of Canaan Fair Trade, and spend a week harvesting olives with the Fair Trade cooperatives organized in around the city of Jenin in the Palestinian territories. Canaan […]
While the most prominent US “Black Friday” headlines might have celebrated which electronic gadget is most popular this year (iPads), trumpeted record-breaking sales ($59 billion), or reported new appalling behavior by American shoppers (brawling over new shoes), there was one international headline that should have received much more attention — the fatal Bangladesh garment factory fire that killed more than […]
In partnership with our allies at Consumer’s Union, the publishers of Consumer Reports magazine, we’re excited to announce our new energy-efficiency contest! To make energy-efficiency fun and help parents raise the next generation of energy-conscious Green Americans, we’re launching “America’s Cutest Lil’ Energy Savers,” a video contest all about sharing the best ways households can save energy (and money!). You could win $250 (first prize) or $100 (runner-up), and the first 100 entrants will receive an energy-efficient lightbulb. Check out our short, sample video: Start planning now for what kind of video you’d like to make. We’ll be accepting submissions between October 1 and October 15 (see official rules here). On September 29 and 30, at our Washington, DC Green Festival we’ll have a video camera set up in the Green Kids’ Zone at 3PM on Saturday and Sunday for Green Festival attendees to film their entries. Stop by the booth for your chance to enter the contest, and to win prizes for your kids from these members of our Green Business Network®: North Star Toys, Reach and Teach, Syracuse Cultural Workers, and Taraluna. To spark your creativity, check out our list of ten easy ways to cut your electricity bills in half. Grab your video camera, get your kids excited about saving energy, and enter our contest.
This opinion piece originally ran in local newspapers around the country starting August 13, under the headline “How Romney Could Blow Iowa”. You are free to repost to your own blog or Web site, or to submit to your own local newspaper, attributed to Andrew Korfhage, online editor at Green America. Should Congress renew the wind-energy production tax credit that’s scheduled to expire at the end of 2012? It depends on whom you ask — a Democrat, a Republican, or another Republican. On August 1, Mitt Romney declared his strong opposition to this tax credit. The next day, both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee voted in favor of it. “He will allow the wind credit to expire…and create a level playing field on which all sources of energy can compete on their merits,” Romney’s spokesperson in Iowa told the Des Moines Register, one day before Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who sponsored the tax-credit legislation, cast a key committee vote in favor of renewal. But there’s no “level playing field” for the energy industry. Even fossil-fuel giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron enjoy permanent government subsidies. So far, Romney hasn’t called for trimming the highly profitable coal, oil, and national gas industries’ massive subsidies. All told, these global companies vacuum up to $1 trillion per year in governmental support.