JP Morgan Chase — Accountability Needed!

Banking giant JP Morgan Chase is in the midst of finalizing a settlement with the Justice Department, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the New York State District Attorney regarding its involvement in the 2008 financial crisis. While the exact number remains the subject of much debate, the bank could pay out as much as $13 billion for defrauding investors regarding securities it issued years ago. Based on its acquisition of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual in 2008, JP Morgan is currently the subject of a massive investigation by the federal government into its mortgage lending practices. The two acquired companies were among the largest mortgage lenders in the nation, and they had reached that point largely by offering home loans to individuals with low income, bad or no credit history, or subprime borrowers.  To further complicate the matter, subprime mortgages were then “packaged” into securities and sold to investors at large scales. With hands off regulation from the government, paired with a highly competitive sales culture amongst the issuers of mortgage-backed securities, the subprime industry became too big and fast-paced to control. As we all learned, the bubble was unsustainable; when the bottom dropped out, financial institutions and insurers teetered toward collapse, and the US economy spiraled downward. If Bear Stearns or Washington Mutual had declared bankruptcy in 2008,the economy would have taken an even greater hit than it did. The federal government realized this, and asked JP Morgan […]

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Production Tax Credit for Wind Set to Expire, Extension Could Support Renewable Energy’s Transition to Substantial Growth


The federal renewable energy production tax credit (PTC) offers tax relief on a per-kilowatt-hour basis to producers of electricity generated by qualified renewable sources. It was introduced as a part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 in an effort to foster growth in clean energy markets. The credit has been largely utilized by the wind industry, resulting in substantial […]

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Can Crowd Funding Kickstart Clean Energy?

Solar Power

Crowd funding refers to the collective contributions of many individuals to fund a larger effort by other people or organizations. Internet platforms like Kickstarter are the most common vehicles for collecting donations for projects, but recent legislation may begin a shift to a new method of actual financing, where investors can potentially see a return on investment. The JOBS Act […]

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New Report on Global Climate Change, A Rallying Cry for Action, Ian Britton, 2006.

Scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their fifth assessment report on global climate change dynamics this month. In addition to reaffirming the assertions of the panel’s four previous assessments with greater statistical accuracy, the new report formally embraces a global upper limit for greenhouse gas emissions, past which the earth would experience irreversible changes to its […]

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New Standards Proposed for Carbon Pollution from New Power Plants

On Friday September 20, 2013, the EPA released a new set of standards regarding carbon emissions from newly constructed power plants. Power plants account for about 40 percent of the United States’ carbon emissions, the largest portion of our nation’s carbon footprint. The standards state that no new large natural gas-fired plant may exceed emissions of 1000 lbs CO2 per […]

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Shareholder Support for Social & Environmental Issues Grows

Frans graphic

Good news on the shareholder education and action front! As reported in August, shareholder votes in favor of social and environmental resolutions in the 2013 proxy season marked a ten-year high, receiving 21% support on average. These resolutions constituted a third of all the resolutions filed; the remaining two-thirds addressed corporate governance issues. The 21% support for social and environmental resolutions, […]

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Keystone XL Decision – in 2014? Or, the President Could Just Say No Now. New Report Reaffirms KXL Fails the Climate Test


Looks like there will be further delay when it comes to the White House’s determination whether or not to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Conflicts of interest have come to light that call into question the validity of the latest environmental impact statement on the pipeline. The Office of the Inspector General is investigating concerns that Environmental Resources Management, the […]

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Join The Forward on Climate Rally Feb. 17, 2013

At noon on Sunday, February 17, thousands of Americans will head to Washington, D.C. to make Forward on Climate the largest climate rally in history. Green America is proud to be a sponsor of this action, a project of, Sierra Club, and the Hip Hop caucus. We urge all Green Americans who can make the trip to join us at this historic event — come make your voice heard! In his eloquent inaugural address, President Obama stated: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. We cannot cede to other nations the [clean energy] technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise.” Now is the time for President Obama to address the climate crisis by rejecting, once and for all, the Keystone XL dirty tar sands pipeline. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2012 was the hottest year on record in the continental United States. We should be far further ahead than we are in developing renewable energy technologies, so it is imperative that we now accelerate our shift to renewable energy. We also need to emphasize energy efficiency programs that can make a tremendous difference. Come to Washington, DC on Feb. 17 if you can! All the details are at Stop by the Green America office before the rally at 10:30am to get […]

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Oil Spills — There is Damage That Cannot Be Undone

This past weekend’s New York Times article on the environmental, social, psychological, and financial costs of oil spills is a sobering reminder of the vast toll on people and planet when oil spills occur. As President Obama considers whether or not to approve the dirty tar sands Keystone XL pipeline, the lessons of recent heavy, Canadian crude oil disasters are grounds enough for saying no. After three years of clean-up, the Enbridge Energy spill in the Kalamazoo River and Talmadge Creek in Michigan is still not complete. The spill is the company’s largest. Enbridge believes that clean-up costs will approach $1 billion. The long clean-up time and staggering costs are not surprising if you consider that the more than 840,000 gallons of oil released were heavy crude that is extra difficult to clean up. As reported in the Times article, “The (Environmental Protection Agency) estimated that 180,000 had most likely drifted to the bottom, more than 100 times Enbridge’s projection.” And more recently this past spring in Arkansas, an ExxonMobil spill of heavy, Canadian crude oil dumped approximately 210,000 gallons in a residential neighborhood. Residents, the State of Arkansas, and the Justice Department are all involved in litigation against ExxonMobil for damages. Why would take on additional oil spill risks with heavy Canadian crude when we cannot cope with existing spills? The contamination of the natural environment endures, and as one affected resident in Michigan summed it up,” There are […]

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