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Mining Industry: BofA’s Coal Policy A PR Stunt

bank_of_america.jpgBank of America recently announced that it would phase out loans to coal companies that predominantly use destructive mountaintop removal mining practices, but some say the announcement is a public relations ploy, AP reports (via CNNMoney.com)

Securities and Exchange Commission filings show the bank loans money to seven major companies involved in mountaintop mining. But according to a review of their annual reports and other records conducted by Associated Press, most of these companies get less than half of their production from surface mines, which means they also don’t predominantly use mountaintop removal mining practices.

The bank posted a five-paragraph coal policy online (PDF) however the bank’s spokeswoman Colleen Haggerty refused to offer details on how the phase-out would work.

Carol Raulston, spokeswomn for the National Mining Association told AP that “it was a bit of a public relations ploy at a time where there’s a lot of press attention on mountaintop removal.”

In April, the bank announced it would adopt the Carbon Principles. That same month, the bank’s CEO, Kenneth Lewis was also voted 2008’s Fossil Fool of the Year in an online contest sponsored by
Rainforest Action Network, Energy Action Coalition and Co-op America.

Last year, Bank of America launched a $20 billion initiative to support environmentally sustainable business activity.

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