EQAT was founded in late 2009 by Quakers from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
In 2010, EQAT launched its first campaign — Bank Like Appalachia Matters (BLAM!). We asked PNC Bank, a historically Quaker bank, to withdraw financing from corporations who engage in mountaintop removal coal mining. Over the next five years, we used nonviolent direct action to shine the light on PNC Bank’s lead role as one of the primary financiers of this devastating surface mining practice which has destroyed more than 500 mountains, 2,000 miles of river and stream-beds, and cost countless lives in Appalachia.
Even in the midst of our primary campaigns, EQAT has periodically felt led and able to respond to calls from the wider climate change and social justice movements. In March 2014, at the request of the national movement against the Keystone XL Pipeline, we coordinated a prompt action in Philadelphia calling attention to conflicts of interest regarding this pipeline. We provided 6 trainings and led an action with 200 people in which 29 were arrested for civil disobedience. Many more were willing to risk arrest.
In 2015, EQAT launched its second campaign — Power Local Green Jobs — calling on utility companies to take responsibility for creating green jobs and benefiting poor communities and communities of color by making a major shift to relying on locally generated solar power for electricity.
EQAT celebrated its 10 year anniversary in 2020. View a slideshow of actions and events here.