From the App Voices Front Porch Blog.
North Carolina State Representatives have introduced a bill this week that if passed, will strip North Carolina investments in Massey Energy Company. Reps. Pricey Harrison, Paul Luebke, Susan Fisher and Earl Jones recently introduced a bill into the General Assembly that would mandate the divestiture of state funds from Massey Energy. North Carolina owns 385,000 shares of Massey Energy stock, currently valued at approximately $12 million.
This effort to strip state investments from Massey is being led by Representative Pricey Harrison of Greensboro North Carolina. Rep. Harrison is no stranger to Massey’s reputation as a bad actor. In 2009, she was the lead sponsor of the Appalachian Mountains Preservation Act. This bill would have prohibited North Carolina utilities from purchasing mountaintop removal coal
“Massey Energy Company is a rogue corporation that puts company profits before the safety of miners,” said Harrison. “North Carolina has no business investing state funds in a corporation that routinely places its workers at risk and has absolutely no regard for environmental protection.”
Earlier this month, North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell and a coalition of institutional investors urged Massey shareholders to withhold votes from the three board of director members responsible for mining safety in the company. All three were re-elected. This prompted the bill sponsors to take the actions of the State Treasurer a step further. If this bill passes the State Treasurer will be instructed to sell off all Massey Energy Stock.
Appalachian Voices is proud to support this bill, and we hope to see movement in the General Assembly.
“Maintaining our current investment locks North Carolina into Massey’s negligent behavior, which has cost the lives of American miners,” said Austin Hall, Field Organizer for the regional non-profit organization Appalachian Voices. “This company’s deplorable safety and environmental standards fly in the face of our state’s hard-earned reputation for safe workplaces and environmental stewardship.”
For more information, vist the App Voices website.