Tell Michigan State University:  Stop Buying Massey Coal
  • Petitioned Lou Anna K. Simon

This petition was delivered to:

President, Michigan State University
Lou Anna K. Simon

Tell Michigan State University: Stop Buying Massey Coal

    1. Petition by

      Charles Corra

      Parkersburg, WV


Massey Energy is one of the country's largest producers of coal, and has found itself amidst controversy several times in the past few years.  

They have come under scrutiny for numerous safety violations in several mines they operate across Appalachia.  Even worse than this, their mine was the site of the worst mine disaster in 40 years, the Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County, West Virginia. 

The CEO at the time of the disaster, Don Blankenshipl, has refused to testify before a committee of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) investigators about the disaster and the subsequent turmoil afterwards.  This is unacceptable. 

Michigan State University purchased Massey Energy coal in 2010,

MSU was a customer of Massey Energy Company, therefore financially supporting this company and their destructive nature.  If MSU were to stop buying coal produced by Massey Energy, this would send a strong message to the company.  Otherwise, by continuing to purchase coal from Massey they are not denouncing the hazardous practices of the company and instead are nearly endorsing it. 


Targeting Massey Directly Hasn't Been Effective

Massey Energy has failed to respond to our pleas to have the former CEO, Don Blankenship, testify before a MSHA committee.  They continue to ignore requests from concerned citizens to bring justice to the mine disaster.  Massey also continues to operate Mountaintop Removal sites, which are incredibly destructive to the environment.

A student movement has already been started to ween MSU off coal.

Students at Michigan State have already started a movement in protest of a large coal plant on campus, the T.B. Simon coal powered electric production facility.  This shows that a movement away from coal is alive and well, and the potential for MSU to stop buying Massey coal is heightened.

By refusing to buy Massey coal, MSU can send a strong message to Massey and the coal industry in general:  Destructive business practices, environmental negligence, and refusal to accept responsibility is intolerable.  A respectable learning institution like Michigan State has a moral responsibility to contribute to the solution, not the problem.  Continuing to buy coal from Massey Energy only contributes to the ongoing problem.


(Photo credit: Lovelac7 via Wikimedia Commons)

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures
    2. Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      This campaign was covered by Atlantic Wire, as part of the larger narrative of anti-coal movements on university campuses:

    3. Michigan State Has Yet to Move 'Beyond Coal' or Beyond Massey Energy

      Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      When trying to persuade a recalcitrant coal giant like Massey Energy to comply with the pleas of the public, it's important to start small.
      That's why we are working to increase pressure by asking Michigan State University, which had two contracts...

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Jess Leber
      Petition Organizer

      Progress: President Simon has been responding to this petition... "We appreciate your interest in Michigan State University. MSU has two contracts with Massey, which will end this year. We will consider your request the next time we request bids." A blog post update soon...


    Reasons for signing

    • Sierra Emrich RICHMOND, KY
      • over 3 years ago

      MTR = arsenic, mercury and lead in MY drinking water.

    • Andrew Heugel BREWSTER, NY
      • over 3 years ago

      I'm also sick and tired of the endless "clean coal" commercials on TV. Coal is a dirty 300 year old technology that has become increasing environmentally destructive, due to new supplies becoming harder to access. It's long past time that we stopped being fossil fools and invest far more in greener methods of power production.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.