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Mountain top removal coal mining United States pdf

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Mountain top removal (MTR) mining is a form of strip mining in which coal companies use explosives to blast as much as 800 to 1000 feet off the tops of mountains order to reach the coal seams that lie underneath. The resulting millions of tons of waste rock, dirt, and vegetation are then dumped into surrounding valleys, burying miles and miles of streams under piles of rubble hundreds of feet deep. Mountaintop removal mining harms not only aquatic ecosystem, and water quality, it also destroys hundreds of acres of healthy forests and fish and wildlife habitat, including habitat of threatened and endangered species, when the tops of mountains are blasted away.

Throughout the Appalachian region of the Eastern United States, more than 500 mountains have been flattened – first by clear-cutting forests, then by blowing off the top layers of rock with powerful explosives. Giant cranes (draglines) expose buried coal by scraping billions of tons of dirt off the mountain. The debris is then dumped into neighboring valleys and streams. Rather than remove coal from the mountain, MTR removes the mountain from the coal.


what must happen

We urge all private banks involved in commercial lending and investment banking services for the mining sector to end their relationships with companies who practice mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.

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.

Where banks choose to maintain relationships with this sector, we recommend a publicly available policy, with a clearly identified performance threshold and regular reporting on policy implementation. Banks should withdraw from any on-going financing relationships with clients that practice MTR and place MTR on their financing exclusion lists.


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last update: Oct 13, 2014

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mining - coal

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Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


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social impact

Coal companies use MTR mining methods because it allows for almost complete recovery of coal seams while significantly reducing the number of workers required compared to conventional methods. The coal-bearing counties of Appalachia are some of the poorest in the nation, despite the fact that some of the greatest wealth is being extracted from them.

For marginalized coalfield resident communities, MTR has meant the loss of thousands of jobs and growing health risks. Poverty has increased in MTR regions, even as corporate profits soar.

Once coal is extracted, it is then washed and treated, resulting in waste water called coal sludge—a mix of water, coal dust, clay and toxic chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, copper, selenium and chromium. Billions of gallons of this toxic soup is then stored in vast, unlined impoundments or injected for storage in abandoned underground-mines.

Impoundments are often held in place by mining debris or earthen dams, making them unstable. Sludge dams have been known to fail. In October 2000, residents of Martin County, Kentucky suffered 306 million gallons of slurry entering their water supply. The disastrous spill was over 30 times the size of the Exxon Valdez spill.


environment

MTR is a mining practice where explosives are used to remove the tops of mountains and expose the thin seams of coal that lie beneath. Once blasted, the earth from the mountaintop is then typically dumped in the neighboring valleys. As a result, MTR mining poses significant threats to water quality in Appalachia, and undermines the objectives and requirements of the Clean Water Act. According to a 2005 environmental impact statement, nearly 2,000 miles of Appalachian streams have been buried or contaminated. 


human rights

After blasting has occurred, waste from mining operations is systematically dumped into nearby valleys, burying streams. This waste then releases toxic metals, killing life in streams and polluting ground water. Health problems such as cancer, liver and kidney disease and skin rashes have been found in correlation with people who drink water from wells contaminated by coal mining. The problem was exacerbated in 2002 when the Bush Administration changed rules in the Clean Water Act to allow waste material to be considered “fill,” effectively legalizing the dumping of toxic mining waste directly into Appalachian waterways.


other issues

The expansion of mountaintop removal mining is fuelled by the fact that the U.S. is in the midst of a coal rush. Currently, more than 150 new coal-fired power plants are in various stages of development around the country, and our government is relaxing laws in order to allow even more coal mining that destroys communities and ecosystems. These new power plants will emit 600 million tons of carbon dioxide annually - which is tantamount to doubling the number of cars on our roads! Coal is the single biggest obstacle to curbing global warming as well as destructive coal mining practices.

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last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

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Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


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May 06, 2014, Patriot fasing out of coal, but Alpha and Arch not

Of the three largest producers of MTR coal, Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal, and Patriot Coal, Patriot has already committed to phase out its MTR operations. But Arch and Alpha have maintained a pipeline of new MTR mining permits, even as the financial, regulatory, and reputational risks associated with MTR coal mining have become increasingly acute.

In 2013, top U.S. and European banks exited relationships with producers of MTR coal. As of April 2014, BNP Paribas, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo had terminated relationships with two of the largest mountaintop removal coal producers, Alpha Natural Resources (9.4 million tons of MTR coal produced in 2013) and Arch Coal (4.6 million tons in 2013). Unfortunately, as these banks exited MTR financing, Barclays scaled up its MTR financing, closing $550 million in loan and bond transactions in 2013.

Feb 06, 2014, Federal court protects streams from surface mining

Regulatory and legal risks associated with MTR production have grown in the past 12 months, with a February 2014 federal court decision striking down a Bush-era rule that had gutted protections for streams impacted by surface mining. As the first case study highlights, Alpha Natural Resources’s exposure to citizen lawsuits related to water pollution from its MTR mines more than doubled in 2013, as the company reached a record-setting $227.5 million enforcement settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice over water contamination from its mines.

May 06, 2013, Bankruptcies

The financial condition of many MTR-producing coal companies continued to deteriorate in 2013. Patriot Coal's 2012 bankruptcy was followed by bankruptcy filings at Essar Energy's Trinity Coal subsidiary in February 2013, and at James River Coal in April 2014. Ironically, the CEO of the #2 producer of MTR coal, Patriot Coal, has emerged as a voice against MTR, remarking that his company's agreement to exit MTR was ultimately good for business, as the second case study explains.

2013 was a painful year to lend to several MTR coal producers. Three European banks, Credit Agricole, ING Capital, and Natixis faced the especially daunting challenge of recovering $104 million in outstanding loans from their client Trinity Coal in bankruptcy court. After being acquired by the Indian conglomerate Essar Group in 2010 for $600 million, Trinity, which operates MTR mines in Kentucky and West Virginia, was hit hard by slumping coal markets and failed to make required payments to its suppliers and creditors, prompting over 50 lawsuits against the company.

According to the three banks, Trinity defaulted on over $104 million in credit obligations to them in 2011. After the company reportedly failed to negotiate with the banks, they filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against it in February 2013. A year later, Trinity's parent company agreed to a $150 million capital infusion for Trinity as part of a bankruptcy settlement, through which Trinity's unsecured creditors were expected to receive $0.15 to $0.25 on the dollar.

Trinity isn't alone among MTR producers facing acute financial distress. In February 2014, James River Coal, which reported net losses of $138.9 million in 2012 and was expected to lose $126.8 million in 2013 according to Bloomberg estimates, renegotiated its revolving credit line with GE Capital and UBS to give it time to explore "strategic alternatives" including a sale of all or part of the company. At the same time, James River forged ahead with a legal battle to secure a permit for a new mountaintop removal mine in Kentucky in the face of legal challenges over the mine's potential impacts on human health and the environment. James River later declared bankruptcy in April 2014.

In contrast to James River, the CEO of Patriot Coal, which agreed to phase out its MTR operations as part of a 2012 bankruptcy settlement, recently expressed a much dimmer view of the viability of new MTR operations. In December 2013, he said that his company's exit from MTR was good for business, helped Patriot avoid growing regulatory, permitting, and litigation risks associated with the practice, and that it is "increasingly unlikely that any producer is going to invest a lot of money in building out a large-scale surface mine in Central Appalachia."
Nevertheless, James River appears determined to prove him wrong with their planned MTR mine.

Oct 30, 2012, Lawsuit Patriot Coal over selenium discharges

Patriot Coal faced a wave of citizen lawsuits over selenium discharges from its MTR mines and saw its seleniumrelated cleanup cost estimates rise to approximately $449 million just prior to its bankruptcy filing in 2012.

Jan 31, 2010

On-going financing of destructive operations.

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last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

banktrack contact

Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


member groups involved

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financial institutions involved
banks
ABN AMRO Netherlands - profile
  • corporate loan: € 132 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Alfa Bank Russian Federation - profile
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 25 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Bank of America United States - profile
  • corporate loan: € 952 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 1,571 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Barclays United Kingdom - profile
  • corporate loan: € 204 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 143 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
BBVA Spain - profile
  • corporate loan: € 130 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 37 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
BMO Financial Group Canada - profile
  • corporate loan: € 533 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 169 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
BNP Paribas France - profile
  • corporate loan: € 265 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
BPCE Group France
  • corporate loan: € 400 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 74 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
CIBC Canada - profile
  • corporate loan: € 36 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 12 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Citigroup United States - profile
  • project finance: € 1,599 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 1,324 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Commerzbank AG Germany - profile
  • corporate loan: € 200 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Australia - profile
  • corporate loan: € 26 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Crédit Agricole France - profile
  • corporate loan: € 400 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 119 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Credit Mutuel-CIC France - profile
  • corporate loan: € 14 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Credit Suisse Group Switzerland - profile
  • corporate loan: € 254 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 143 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Deutsche Bank Germany - profile
  • corporate loan: € 158 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 88 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Goldman Sachs United States - profile
Goldman Sachs owned a 49% share in Carrix, the parent company of SSA Marine, until January 2014 when its stake was sold.
  • corporate loan: € 224 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 102 ln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
HSBC United Kingdom - profile
  • corporate loan: € 53 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China China - profile
  • corporate loan: € 132 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
ING Group Netherlands - profile
  • corporate loan: € 395 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 12 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
JPMorgan Chase United States - profile
  • corporate loan: € 452 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 770 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co., Ltd. Japan
is the investment banking arm of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), a financial services company which is the largest in Japan measured by assets.
  • corporate loan: € 378 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 172 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Mizuho Japan - profile
  • corporate loan: € 66 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 21 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Morgan Stanley United States - profile
  • corporate loan: € 1,898 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 1,798 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Nordea Sweden - profile
  • corporate loan: € 68 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
PNC Bank United States - profile
  • corporate loan: € 1,104 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 118 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Raiffeisen Zentralbank Austria AG Austria - profile
  • corporate loan: € 185 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Royal Bank of Canada Canada - profile
  • corporate loan: € 43 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 40 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Royal Bank of Scotland United Kingdom - profile
  • corporate loan: € 816 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 678 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Santander Spain - profile
  • corporate loan: € 159 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 121 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Scotia Bank Canada - profile
  • corporate loan: € 140 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 143 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Société Générale France - profile
  • corporate loan: € 217 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 5 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Standard Chartered United Kingdom - profile
  • corporate loan: € 16 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
State Bank of India India - profile
  • corporate loan: € 5 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Japan - profile
  • corporate loan: € 294 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 14 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
UBS Switzerland - profile
  • corporate loan: € 340 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 1,338 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
UniCredit Group Italy - profile
  • corporate loan: € 282 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
US Bancorp United States - profile
  • corporate loan: € 226 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 16 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Vneshtorgbank (VTB) Russian Federation - profile
  • corporate loan: € 700 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 136 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
Wells Fargo United States - profile
  • corporate loan: € 700 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014
  • shares/bonds underwriter or manager: € 136 mln (2005 - 2013)
    source: Banks and Coal Spreadsheet, Profundo, 2014

By the summer of 2014  BNP Paribas, RBS, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have all publicly confirmed that they are moving away from bankrolling the destruction of America's mountains.

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last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

banktrack contact

Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


member groups involved

share this dodgy deal

The following companies are involved in Mountain top removal coal mining:

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last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

banktrack contact

Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


member groups involved

share this dodgy deal
2014 2013 2011 2010 2008 2007 2006
image
active file
last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

banktrack contact

Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


member groups involved

share this dodgy deal
image
active file
last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

banktrack contact

Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


member groups involved

share this dodgy deal
pictures
videos

Bob Kincaid on Bank of America AGM 2012
May 13, 2014 -

Paul Corbit Brown at AGM of E.On 2013
May 13, 2014 - On Mountaintop Removal

Paul Corbit Brown at Credit Suisse AGM 2013
May 13, 2014 - On Mountain Top Removal Mining

Pledge to End Mountaintop Removal
Aug 02, 2011 -

The Last Mountain
Apr 18, 2011 - Documentary on Mountaintop Removal.

Mountaintop Removal: An American Tragedy
Apr 06, 2011 - Wake up call for MTR banks

Hijacking PNC Bank
Dec 13, 2010 - Reverend Billy and his followers hijack a PNC office in Washington, urging PNCBank to stop financing mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachia mountains.

Demonstration against JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan
Jun 08, 2010 - Rev. Billy and his choir literally brought the muddy devastation of Appalachia to Chase offices in Manhattan

JP Morgan Chase client discussing her account with a Chase banking official
Jun 08, 2010 -

Marie Gunnoe Speaks out about Flooding
Jul 06, 2009 - Goldman "Enivironmental Nobel" Prize winner, Marie Gunnoe, describes the flooding at her home in Bob White, West Virginia, as a direct result of Mountain Top Removal.

Wise Up Dominion
Nov 05, 2008 - RAN joins its Appalachian allies to demand a clean energy future in Wise County, Virginia.

Demonstration at Citi AGM, 22 April 2008
May 08, 2008 - Demonstration against the involvement of Citi Group in financing mountain top removal coal mining

RAN Action at Citibank in Washington DC
Nov 07, 2007 - RAN action protests against Citibank's coal investments on November 5, 2007.

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active file
last update: Oct 13, 2014

sectors
mining - coal

banktrack contact

Amanda Starbuck, Rainforest Action Network, United States


member groups involved

share this dodgy deal
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banktrack tweets
RT @stuartmcw: Hundreds publicly close bank accounts over fossil fuel investments http://t.co/xWSBMsRI0d@market_forces
Oct 20, 2014
Crédit Agricole gets a Pinocchio Prize nomination for supporting mountaintop removers Arch Coal and AlphaNR: http://t.co/sjVcShjYMD
Oct 20, 2014
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