PNC Bank Will Cease Investments in Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining
Bowing to pressure from Quaker environmentalists, PNC Bank announced yesterday that it will be restricting financing of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia. The shift outlined in its 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report means PNC Bank will effectively cease its investment in this controversial practice.
In 2012, PNC Bank financed Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, CONSOL Energy and Patriot Coal, which together were responsible for nearly half (44.97 percent) of Appalachian mountaintop removal production. PNC’s total investment was $687.5 million for that year.
The grassroots group leading the charge for PNC’s new policy, Earth Quaker Action Team, hails the change as a major shift by the seventh largest U.S. bank. “When we initiated our campaign in 2010, PNC attempted to placate us with a hollow policy. It’s good to see that PNC Bank is now taking meaningful steps,” says Matthew Armstead, staff coordinator for EQAT. “Since this shift happened because of external pressure, it should be a wake-up call for everyone that the power of change lies with regular citizen activists.”
According to EQAT’s analysis, PNC’s changes in investment will sever ties with the two largest companies (Alpha and Arch). Given Patriot Coal’s bankruptcy and CONSOL Energy’s imminent shifting out of mountaintop removal, PNC Bank will be left without any major investments in mountaintop removal.
Mountaintop removal has long been criticized for its negative environmental and health impacts. This process of getting coal from a mountain involves blowing up the top of the mountain and dumping the remains into rivers and valleys. The contaminants from the dynamite hang in the air and the sludge and residue from this process poisons water. Scientists note the impact of burning dirty coal is speeding up global climate change.
Released yesterday, PNC’s 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report began their new policy by admitting they were “driven by environmental and health concerns.”
Rainforest Action Network (RAN), a watchdog expert on the energy sector, issued a statement:
“We see today’s news as indicative of a broader trend within the financial sector. Banks no longer want to be associated with a dangerous, abhorrent practice like mountaintop removal; there is an emerging financial industry consensus that these practices are unacceptable. Concretely, this means mountaintop removal companies will have a harder time securing financing to operate and expand in the future.”
PNC follows in the footsteps of other banks pressured to adopt policies cutting ties with firms specializing in mountaintop removal: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, RBS, BNP Paribas and UBS.
Dustin White, an 11th-generation native Appalachian with Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, lauded the tiny Quaker environmentalist organization for making this change. He said, “PNC's new policy is a step in the right direction, and we applaud our friends at EQAT for their success in moving this big bank to do the right thing. For over 150 years, Big Coal has endangered our health, our heritage, and our homes.”
For members of Earth Quaker Action Team this is a major victory from a long campaign. “In our early encounters with PNC, they didn’t take us or this issue seriously. We showed them evidence, delivered them Appalachian water poisoned by mountaintop removal, and brought them face-to-face with residents hurt by this practice,” says George Lakey, a retired teacher who was arrested twice during the campaign. “We had to take direct action for them to see the light.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Grayson Jaggers
The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.
- 15 Indigenous Crops to Boost Your Immune System and Celebrate ... ›
- 15 Supplements to Boost Your Immune System Right Now - EcoWatch ›
- Should I Exercise During the Coronavirus Pandemic? Experts ... ›
- The Immune System's Fight Against the Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.
- FDA Approves First In-Home Test for Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- When Should You Get a COVID-19 or Antibody Test? - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Plans to End Federal Funding for COVID-19 Testing Sites ... ›
- Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial Into Agency Reports ... ›
- Climate Denier Is Named to Leadership Role at NOAA - EcoWatch ›
New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.
Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.