Post-Peabody Week of Action Targets SLDC's Millions to Peabody

Unemployed St. Louisans Call on St. Louis Development Corporation to Invest in Green Jobs
“Post-Peabody St. Louis” Week of Action Hammers SLDC and Peabody Connection as Police Block Group from Entering the Building

Today, St. Louis community members, including Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), pressured the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC) to give its development dollars to creating green jobs for St. Louis, instead of Big Coal and Big Developers.

Exemplifying the desired outcome from the action, a false Patrick Bannister from the St.Louis Local Development Corporation presented a $500,000 forgivable loan to a group of unemployed St. Louisans for the creation of sustainable jobs. Currently, the $500,000 forgivable loan is set to go to Peabody Coal for “office renovations.” In 2010, Peabody Coal received a tax break from the SLDC on $61 million of purchases, including $2 million from the St. Louis public schools.

 

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Activists Unfurl 'Dirty Coal = Dirty Money' Banner Over 'Peabody + United Way' Billboard

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Contact: Molly Gott, molly@organizemo.org,  Arielle Klagsbrun, arielle@organizemo.org

 Activists Unfurl Banner Over ‘Peabody + United Way’ Billboard

Banner Saying ‘Dirty Coal = Dirty Money’ Kicks Off “Post-Peabody St. Louis” Week of Action

Activists from Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) unfurled a banner reading “Dirty Coal = Dirty Money” over a Peabody Coal and United Way billboard between the Vandeventer and Kingshighway exits of I-64/40. The original billboard read “Helping people. Peabody + the United Way,” advertising the highly-publicized recent partnership between Peabody Coal and the United Way. Peabody CEO Greg Boyce is chairing the United Way’s Annual Giving Campaign.

The banner drop marks the beginning of the “Post-Peabody St. Louis” week of action, during which activists and community members will target institutions around the city that enable Peabody Coal to continue their business of causing global warming, contributing to St. Louis’ high asthma rates, stealing tax dollars from St. Louis public schools, and withholding miners’ pensions.

“Peabody’s connection to the United Way may be the most egregious of its attempts to stamp its brand name on our city. Peabody, through the United Way, funds groups that work hard to treat asthma and cancer and provide air conditioning when we’re in heat waves. That is a deliberate tactic to cover up the health impacts and global warming that Peabody causes,” said Dan Cohn, member of MORE and Washington University student.

In May, community members met with Gary Dollar, head of the United Way, to express their concern with the decision to choose Boyce as the head of the campaign and demand that a new head be chosen to replace Boyce. Although Dollar said he would relay the group’s message to the United Way Board of Trustees, he also said it was highly unlikely that Boyce would be replaced. Indeed, Boyce remained the campaign chair.

The group demands that Mr. Dollar publicly condemn Peabody Coal, recognizing that a charitable organization dedicated to “helping people” has no business helping Peabody cover up its dirty work

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Post-Peabody St. Louis Week of Action Facebook Events

Here are the Facebook event pages for some of the Post-Peabody Week of Action Actions:

Tuesday, October 23rd, 3:30pm - Wash U

Wednesday, October 24th, 12pm - St. Louis Development Corporation

Thursday, October 25th, 11am - Patriot Coal

Friday, October 26th, 11:30am - UMSL

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The Post-Peabody St. Louis Week of Action is Coming!

Post-Peabody STLPeabody Coal is jeopardizing our planet, our health and our children. Everyday, Peabody’s coal causes global warming, ensuring we’ll have more summers of triple-digit heat waves and extreme droughts. Everyday, Peabody’s coal contributes to St. Louis’ high asthma rates, the number one reason children in St. Louis are hospitalized. And everyday until 2020, Peabody will not be paying $61 million in taxes to the city of St. Louis, thanks to a tax break that includes $2 million meant for our public schools.  Peabody’s disregard of the communities and environments in which they do business is not unique to St. Louis; all over the world, this corporation causes climate change, threatens peoples’ drinking water, withholds miners’ pensions and rips off Midwestern cities and towns.

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