In the United States, more than 30 large mining companies—both publicly-traded and privately-held—carry out mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining, one of the most destructive forms of mining on earth. Numerous large banks have historically supported the overall operations of many of these mining companies through loans and other types of credit agreements, and by underwriting and purchasing bonds. NRDC is working to end bank financing for all companies carrying out MTR, beginning with the seven dominant MTR coal producers.
Over the past two years, six banks have developed guidelines that propose to restrict their lending and/or banking relationships with companies using MTR mining practices. After a close analysis of recent debt financing transactions of these six banks, NRDC believes they are moving in the right direction, but ultimately must take the next step and end their support of MTR mining altogether.