Unwise Investment: Why are Citibank, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch Funding Dirty Power?

Next time you visit the ATM at your local Citibank, you might be interested in knowing what the company is planning to invest in down in Texas since it's going to directly impact your future. This prestigious bank is seriously considering funding the dirtiest coal power project this side of China.

Just last year, Citigroup announced it would reduce its own global CO2 emissions 10 percent below their 2005 levels by 2011. But now they're saddling up to help fund TXU's disastrous plan to build a fleet of 11 dirty coal-fired power plants that will dump 78 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year of their 50+ year lifespan.

The cost of constructing these global warming factories is estimated at $11 billion. That's a lot of scratch to cobble together, even for a big company like TXU. So they're counting on support from three of the country's leading investment banks: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

What makes this situation so ridiculous is that these same banks are falling all over themselves trying to promote their commitment to climate protection. And now they're jockeying to fund a project that represents a giant step backwards - guaranteeing enormous carbon emissions for the next half-century. If Citigroup counted their share of the resulting pollution as part of the company's direct emissions, it would shatter their C02 reduction goal a thousand times over. But Citigroup only counts its direct emissions, not those of its investment projects. That's pathetic. The CO2 spewing from your investments should also be part of your reduction goal, Citigroup.

It's baffling to me why any of these top financial institutions would risk their money - and their reputation - to finance 11 dirty coal plants just as lawmakers are beginning to get serious about limiting global warming pollution.

Talk about a bad bet.

TXU and the banks are beginning to hear from a growing alliance of businesses, mayors, religious leaders and committed citizens who want the Lone Star State to pursue cleaner, more efficient energy solutions. Well it's time to turn up the heat.

Texans, and all Americans concerned for their health -- not to mention the planet -- should urge Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to take a pass on this self-destructive investment. If you do business with any of these banks, contact them and demand they get with the 21st century.

Citigroup 399 Park Avenue New York, NY 10043 Telephone: (800) 285-3000

Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. 4 World Financial Center 250 Vesey Street New York, NY 10080 Telephone: (212) 449-1000

Morgan Stanley 1585 Broadway New York, NY 10036 Telephone: (212) 761-4000