Bank of America says it will phase out financing of coal companies using mountaintop removal practices - reactions from business, NGOs

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5 December 2008

Industry calls Bank of America coal policy PR ploy

Author: Associated Press

Bank of America says it will phase out financing of coal companies that predominantly use destructive mountaintop removal mining practices, citing concern for the environment. But the policy, buried in the company's Web site this week and barely acknowledged by its public relations department, may be little more than show...[However]...the "precedent-setting nature" that worries [Chris] Hamilton [vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association] is what makes the policy potentially powerful, said Dan Bakal, director of electric power programs with Ceres...Securities and Exchange Commission filings show Bank of America participates in loans to seven major companies involved in mountaintop mining: Massey Energy Co., Alpha Natural Resources, International Coal Group, Foundation Coal Holdings, Arch Coal, Consol Energy and Patriot Coal Corp.

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3 December 2008

Bank of America Decision to Stop Funding Mountaintop Removal a Victory for Appalachia and Anti-Coal Movement

Author: Rainforest Action Network

Rainforest Action Network praised Bank of America today for its decision to phase out financing for companies that practice mountaintop removal coal mining, a highly destructive and controversial method of coal extraction...Rebecca Tarbotton, director of Rainforest Action Network’s Global Finance Campaign, which has pressed Bank of America since October 2007 to cease financing of mountaintop removal mining and coal-fired power plants. “We hope that Citi, JP Morgan Chase and other banks follow Bank of America’s lead.”

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1 December 2008

[PDF] Bank of America Coal Policy

Author: Bank of America

Bank of America is particularly concerned about surface mining conducted through mountain top removal in locations such as central Appalachia. We therefore will phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountain top removal. While we acknowledge that surface mining is economically efficient and creates jobs, it can be conducted in a way that minimizes environmental impacts in certain geographies.

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