Tuesday, March 03, 2015

PNC Bank cuts financing for coal firms using mountaintop removal; activists take credit for move

PNC Bank announced on Monday in its 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report that it "will substantially cut its financing of coal companies that practice mountaintop-removal mining," Justine McDaniel reports for The Philadelphia Inquirer. "The bank will not extend credit to coal producers with 25 percent or more of their production from mountaintop-removal mining, the report says. Its previous policy excluded only producers for which mountaintop-removal mining was the majority of production. PNC also will not finance individual mountaintop-removal mining projects, continuing a policy implemented in 2010."

PNC lent an estimated $210.5 million in 2013 to companies that do mountaintop removal and $687.5 million in 2012, having funded some of the top coal producers, including Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources, McDaniel writes. Eileen Flanagan, a board member of the Earth Quaker Action Team, said pressure from her organization led to PNC's decision. She said supporters of Earth Quaker have removed more than $3.5 million from the bank by closing their accounts in protest. A PNC spokesperson refused to comment on Earth Quaker's influence on the decision. (Read more)

No comments: