PNC defends coal business loans, says they help economy
PNC Financial Services Group defended itself against critics of its lending to companies engaged in mountaintop coal mining on Wednesday, saying it benefits regional economies.
“While we recognize concerns about the practice, credit that enables these companies to engage in their primary business is economically beneficial to the people of the region,” said bank spokesman Fred Solomon.
About 30 protesters disrupted PNC's annual shareholders meeting Downtown on Tuesday, claiming that mountaintop mining companies facilitated pollution and public health risks because soil and rock removed to reach coal seams tumbles into streams.
Activists from Earth Quaker Action Team interrupted PNC CEO James Rohr about a dozen times as he addressed shareholders. They challenged bank directors to push for PNC to end such loans.
A year-end report by the Sierra Club and the Rainforest Action Network said PNC was among the major U.S. banks most actively lending to such companies.
Solomon said PNC does not fund individual mountaintop removal projects but acknowledged some of its large coal customers derived a “small portion” of their production from mountaintop mining.
Coal mining — including underground mining, which accounts for about 90 percent of production — “offers the sort of family-supporting jobs that have helped miners move into America's middle class,” said Solomon.
According to the National Mining Association, the average U.S. coal miner makes $73,000 a year, excluding benefits.
The association said mountaintop mining is most common in parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky.
Thomas Olson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Coal industry’s decline chokes Central Appalachian towns
- Shell closing Franklin Park office next year
- W.V. entrepreneurs offer hope as coal fades as economic engine
- Demand for surveillance systems boosts sales for Vector Security
- University of Pittsburgh researchers revisit war of electric currents
- Pennsylvania Game Commission reaps revenue from shale gas under game lands
- Many Black Friday deals not worth the hassle
- Cyber Monday increasingly a ‘blah-iday’ as deals rolled out earlier, longer
- As historic breakup nears, Alcoa works to redefine its ‘advantage’
- Small stores take big gamble by not upgrading credit card readers
- Energy Spotlight: Minking Chyu