Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Protesters Speak Out Against Investments in Mountaintop Removal at 15 PNC Bank Branches

Energy
Protesters Speak Out Against Investments in Mountaintop Removal at 15 PNC Bank Branches

Earth Quaker Action Team

Quakers, students, and community activists held the largest coordinated action of their campaign at 15 PNC banks across the eastern seaboard yesterday as part of Earth Quaker Action Team's (EQAT) effort to end PNC's investments in a controversial strip mining practice known as mountaintop removal. At many locations, concerned community members brought samples of drinking water taken from a well in Eunice, West Virginia that had been contaminated by mountaintop removal operations financed by the bank.

Demonstrations included a banner drop over a highway in Morgantown, West Virginia, mock "taste tests" of contaminated water in Princeton New Jersey, a parade of toxic chemicals, a 15 person sit-in inside a bank in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and more.

"PNC comes from a merger between Pittsburgh National and the Quaker Provident Bank," said Amy Ward Brimmer, executive director of EQAT. "So as Quakers, if PNC is going to advertise itself as a green bank, its important to us that they act with integrity and live up to their environmental commitments."

Mountaintop removal has destroyed more than 500 mountains in Appalachia and buried more than 2,000 miles of streams with toxic chemicals that have been linked to health conditions such as cancer.

“We know PNC can do better, and we are committed to using nonviolence to stand up for the people of Appalachia." said Bryn Mawr student Samantha Shain. "A full sector exclusion [on mountaintop removal investments] will bring Appalachia closer to having clean and safe drinking water for everyone.”

Two years ago, in response to demonstrations by EQAT, PNC updated their Corporate Responsibility Report with a policy that prohibits investments in coal companies that source more than 50 percent of their coal from mountaintop removal. The policy, however, does not apply to any of the six largest mountaintop removal corporations that PNC does business with and has not significantly impacted PNC's investments in the industry, according to a report by Rainforest Action Network.

EQAT is a Quaker-based direct action group whose current campaign is Bank Like Appalachia Matters. To support their goals, EQAT has organized an initiative encouraging individuals, Quaker meetings and institutions to remove their money from PNC until the bank commits to a sector exclusion on investments in corporations that practice mountaintop removal.

Actions occurred at PNC Bank branches in:
New Castle County, DE
Princeton, NJ
Bala Cynwyd, PA
North Philadelphia, PA
Media, PA
Harrisburg, PA
West Chester, PA
Washington, DC
Bryn Mawr College, PA
Swarthmore College, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Center City, Philadelphia, PA
Bloomsberg, PA
Morgantown University, WV
Cincinnati University, OH

Visit EcoWatch’s MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL page for more related news on this topic.

 

An Edith's Checkerspot butterfly in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

Butterflies across the U.S. West are disappearing, and now researchers say the climate crisis is largely to blame.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A wildfire burns in the Hollywood hills on July 19, 2016 in Hollywood, California. AaronP / Bauer-Griffin / GC Images

California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Wisdom is seen with her chick in Feb. 2021 at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Jon Brack / Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge / Flickr / CC 2.0

Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.

Read More Show Less
Wind turbines in Norway. piola66 / E+ / Getty Images

By Hui Hu

Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.

Read More Show Less
Jaffa Port in Israel. theDOCK innovated the Israeli maritime space and kickstarted a boom in new technologies. Pixabay

While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.

Read More Show Less