The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Public Interest Groups Deliver Petition Requesting to Decharter Massey Energy
Public interest groups met Sept. 16 with Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden’s office to discuss their request to revoke Massey Energy’s corporate charter. The groups cited Massey’s history of reckless behavior, including its culpability in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster, in which 29 miners were killed.
The groups—Free Speech For People, Appalachian Voices and Rainforest Action Network—delivered a petition with 35,000 citizens’ names calling for Massey’s corporate charter to be revoked.
“Having a corporate charter is a privilege, not a right,” said Jeff Clements, co-founder and general counsel for Free Speech For People. “Delaware, as with other states, reserves the right to revoke or forfeit state corporate charters when they are abused or misused, as in cases of repeated unlawful conduct. Massey Energy has repeatedly demonstrated that it should not be entrusted with a corporation charter.”
Following the Upper Big Branch mine disaster, then West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin appointed an independent investigation panel to determine the cause of the explosion, and to find impartial facts that would help prevent similar disasters in the future. The panel, led by former federal Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health J. Davitt McAteer, found that Massey repeatedly placed profits ahead of worker safety and compliance with the law, and has a long history of criminal and civil violations. The groups cite the report as describing “a shocking corporate culture of illegality.”
“I have seen how Massey Energy has demonstrated a gross disregard for workers and communities in Central Appalachia by systemically ignoring mine safety regulations as well as basic clean air and clean water laws,” said Willa Coffey Mays, executive director of Appalachian Voices. “Bad actors like Massey should not be afforded the same privileges as businesses that play by the rules.”
“Massey cannot merge its way out of accountability for its corporate misconduct,” said Clements, addressing the recent merger between Massey Energy and Alpha Natural Resources. The groups pointed out that Massey Energy’s charter still exists despite the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources.
Click here to listen to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s participation in a call to revoke Massey Energy's corporate charter.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Toxic Waste Will Continue to Grow for Decades Even if All U.S. Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, New Report Says
By Jessica Corbett
For more than three decades, the U.S. government has mismanaged toxic oil and gas waste containing carcinogens, heavy metals and radioactive materials, according to a new Earthworks report — and with the country on track to continue drilling and fracking for fossil fuels, the advocacy group warns of growing threats to the planet and public health.
Newly adopted guidelines set forth by the European Commission Tuesday aim to tackle climate change by way of the financial sector. The move comes to bolster the success of the Sustainable Action Plan published last year to reorient capital flows toward sustainable investment and manage financial risks from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues.