The Charleston Gazette reports that "one of the world's largest financial institutions said this week it will phase out lending money to coal operators that use mountaintop removal mining."
"Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. said it will stop financing companies that produce more than half of their coal from mountaintop removal," the article said. "Bank of America has provided financing for several major surface mine operators, including Massey Energy and International Coal Group, according to corporate financial disclosures."
Update: The Associated Press reviewed "annual reports for some of the largest U.S. producers" to find that "few get more than half their coal from mountaintop mines, and few borrow significant amounts of money from the North Carolina-based lender."
"The policy, buried in the company's Web site this week and barely acknowledged by its public relations department, may be little more than show," AP reports. A National Mining Association spokeswoman called it "a bit of a public relations ploy at a time when there's a lot of press attention on mountaintop removal," that article said.