Report Card on Banks and Mountaintop Removal
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On its website RAN stated that "mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining is one of America’s worst environmental crimes. Every day, across Appalachia, the coal industry literally blows the tops off the mountains: clear-cutting forests, wiping out natural habitats and poisoning rivers and drinking water. Not only are these mountains lost forever, but the heritage and the health of families across the region are being sacrificed. For a mere seven percent of the nation’s coal, the tradeoff does not add up." Banks and financial institutions are key sources of financing for companies that practice mountaintop removal.
The report examines the following nine banks:
- Bank of America
- Credit Suisse
- GE Capital Corp
- JPMorgan Chase
- Morgan Stanley
- UBS; and
- Wells Fargo
RAN states that "since January 2008, the nine banks examined in this report card have provided more than $3.9 billion in loans and bond underwriting to companies practicing mountaintop removal coal mining".
On its website RAN states that "it is critical in preventing environmental and health disasters as well as in limiting reputational risks, for banks and financial institutions to adopt strict lending practices when it comes to mountaintop removal. Several banks in the U.S. and in Europe have recently adopted policies that limit, and even end their financing of this environmentally devastating practice. However, how effective are these policies in practice? In this report card we review each bank’s position on MTR coal mining and award a ‘grade’ based on: strength of performance threshold, scope of due diligence and public transparency. Rainforest Action Network and the Sierra Club are calling for the nine banks reviewed in this report card to strengthen their policies and cease their financial support for MTR. Our recommended ‘best practice’ is a clear exclusion policy on commercial lending and investment banking services for all coal companies who practice mountaintop removal coal extraction."".
- Rainforest Action Network, Bank Track and the Sierra Club, Policy and Practice: Report Card on Banks and Mountaintop Removal, May 2010.
Articles and resources
- Rainforest Action Network, "Grading the Banks: Mountaintop Removal Report Card", Rainforest Action Network website, May 2010.