Bank Support for Mining

May 29, 2015


The mining industry relies on outside assistance in order to remain strong, healthy and competitive.


That is why news out of West Virginia a couple months ago was disheartening.


In March, PNC Financial, the seventh largest banking institution in the United States, said it would no longer finance coal-mining companies that pursue mountaintop removal of coal in Appalachia.


Mountaintop coal removal has long been controversial. It involves blasting off the summits of mountains in order to expose the coal beneath them and dumping the resulting debris into nearby valleys and rivers. This process obviously not gone over well with many environmental organizations.


So what prompted PNC’S decision to pull funding? It may have been because of pressure from some of those environmental organizations. Environmental advocacy groups have been putting pressure on Wall Street banks to stop financing companies that conduct mountaintop removal. Several banks have already pulled back funding for coal companies involved in mountaintop removal.


Apparently, environmental advocates has been trying for years to persuade large investors to pull up the stakes in fossil fuel companies. Now, it seems like the focus has changed to cutting of coal company funding.


Such companies are searching for ways to remain productive while keeping costs down, with no compromise to safety.