Last Friday, 35,000 signatures were delivered to the office of Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden by West Virginia residents who have directly experienced Massey’s disregard for worker safety, community health, and the environment. The petition called for General Biden to revoke Massey’s Coporate Charter.
The delegation included West Virginia community members Lorelei Scarbro and Betty Harrah. Betty is the sister of Steven Harrah, one of the 29 coal miners killed in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster on April 5, 2010. Lorelei is the granddaughter, daughter, and widow of coal miners, and has family who currently work at the Upper Big Branch mine. Scarbro has been an advocate for the Coal River Mountain project, a campaign to stop mountaintop removal mining on Coal River mountain and instead install a 328-megawatt wind farm on its ridges.
Lorelei and Betty were joined by representatives from a coalition of public interest groups who are leading the call for Massey’s petition to be revoked, including RAN, Free Speech for People, Appalachian Voices and CREDO.
“Having a corporate charter is a privilege, not a right,” says Jeff Clements, Free Speech for People’s general counsel. “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.”
General Biden’s office received the petition and responded that he will review the matter.
You can listen to the accompanying press conference here, including comments from Lorelei, Betty and Robert F.Kennedy Junior.