Join the Fight to Revoke Massey Energy's Corporate Charter
Two years ago on April 5, 2010, the Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia exploded, killing 29 miners who were working inside.
An official state report found that Massey Energy, the corporation that owned the mine, was responsible for their deaths. And now the mine’s superintendent has pled guilty to federal charges related to the explosion.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has called Massey a “criminal enterprise”1, and we agree. That’s why we’re calling for Massey’s corporate charter to be revoked by the state of Delaware, where Massey is officially based.
Join our call to put Massey Energy out of business.
A corporation as reckless as Massey should lose its right to exist. As Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, recently wrote in Yes! Magazine, “charter revocation effectively constitutes the death penalty for a corporation. Even occasional use against large corporations would be a major deterrent to corporate wrongdoing."2
The evidence of corporate wrongdoing continues to mount. Another mine official was sentenced on criminal charges earlier this year, “for lying to investigators and ordering a subordinate to destroy... documents.”3
Now the mine superintendent, who pled guilty last week, is alleged to have “manipulated the mine ventilation system during inspections to fool safety officials and [to have] disabled a methane monitor on a cutting machine.”4 These actions appear to have contributed directly to the lethal explosion:
“Three investigations of the tragedy concluded that the company allowed highly explosive methane and coal dust to build up inside the mine, where it was ignited by a spark from an improperly maintained piece of cutting equipment. Clogged and broken water sprayers then allowed what could have been just a flare-up to become an epic blast, the investigations found.”5
We, the people (acting through state governments), grant corporate charters, conferring valuable privileges including limited financial liability and perpetual life. Just as surely as we grant those charters, we also have the right to revoke them.
Since Massey Energy is chartered in Delaware, like most major U.S. corporations, we’re calling on Delaware’s attorney general, Beau Biden, to revoke Massey’s charter. Along with our partner organizations in this campaign, Appalachian Voices, Credo Mobile and Rainforest Action Network, we’ve gathered more than 35,000 signatures on this call to action.
We met with Attorney General Biden’s office in September, and members of West Virginia’s coal mining families, including the sister of one of the miners who was killed, helped to deliver these thousands of signatures, along with their own call for justice. Biden’s office has since confirmed that they are actively reviewing the matter.
Will you sign on now, to help ensure that justice is done?
For more information, click here.
1. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., audio recording from a press call, Sept. 16, 2011.
2. "Special Weapons for Fighting Giants", Yes! Magazine, March 14, 2012.
3., 4., & 5. "Ex-superintendent pleads guilty in mine blast case", by John Raby, Associated Press, March 29, 2012.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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