In light of last week's EPA ruling giving the go ahead to another mountaintop removal coal mine, and the subsequent report from a group of eminent scientists saying, in essence, that no remediation is ever enough to repair the damage mountaintop mining causes, it's worth reminding people that it's not just coal companies that stand to profit from the practice. Banks like JPMorgan Chase also are making a pretty penny from destroying Appalachia, as Gloria Reuben points out in an op-ed for Huffington Post:
Environmental & Social Destruction Funded
In the past two decades alone, mountaintop removal coal mining has destroyed roughly 470 mountains in the region. The debris from these blasts is dumped into surrounding valleys, destroying what were once serene and lush hollows. Or it's dumped into local rivers and streams, literally burying 1,200 miles of waterways.
Communities are decimated, as poverty has driven families out, leaving ghost towns where there used to be thriving homes, schools and businesses. Many who refuse to leave, because their families have been there for generations--or who are stuck in the vicious cycle of accepting very little, because they've been left with nothing--lead lives that are filled with high rates of cancer, asthma and other life-threatening illnesses. And they are witness to friends and loved ones who succumb to premature death.
So how does JPMorgan Chase profit from this? By funding six of the eight companies responsible for mountaintop removal coal mining, including $1 billion to Massey Energy, the largest MTR mining company.
Chase's Rhetoric Better Than Actions
Bank of America and Wells Fargo have severed ties with Massey, so why not Chase?
After all, Chase touts including environmental practices into their sustainable business model, but apparently fails to see the disconnect between that and funding practices and companies which continually destroy mountains and pollute rivers.