The Start of Something New: BOA and MTR

We canceled our Bank of America credit card a year ago because BOA funded some of the worst MTR offenders. Looks like lots of other folks objected too–and finally the work of so many grassroots organizations has lead to a major change in the way BOA does business. Read below:

Yesterday, Bank of America, a lead financier of coal, announced that it will be phasing out financing for companies that practice mountaintop-removal coal mining, a highly destructive and controversial method of coal extraction. The policy is a financial blow to the coal industry just as the Environmental Protection Agency — at the behest of the Bush administration — approved a rule that will make it easier for coal companies to dump into streams and valleys the waste from mountaintop-removal mining operations.

Bank of America’s decision is a giant leap forward in the fight against mountaintop removal, which has devastated Appalachian communities and the mountains and streams they depend on. The decision is also a testament to the hard work of Appalachian communities and anti-coal activists across the country, whose collective pressure left Bank of America with little choice but to abandon its support for this barbaric form of resource extraction.

There is a powerful coal movement in this country, and we are winning!

The new policy states: “Bank of America is particularly concerned about surface mining conducted through mountaintop removal in locations such as central Appalachia. We therefore will phase out financing of companies whose predominant method of extracting coal is through mountaintop 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.”

Read more at Alternet….

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About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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