Massey Energy: Wikis


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Massey Energy
Type Public (NYSEMEE)
Founded 1920 (Richmond, Virginia)
Headquarters Richmond, VA
Key people Don Blankenship, Chairman & CEO
Baxter Phillips, President
Christopher Adkins, SVP & COO
John Poma, VP & CAO
Shane Harvey, VP & General Counsel
Industry Coal
Revenue $2.41 billion (12-31-07) [1]
Net income $94.1 million (12-31-07) [2]
Employees approx. 5,400 [3]

Massey Energy Company NYSEMEE is a coal extractor in the United States with substantial operations in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee. By revenue, it is the fourth largest producer of coal in the United States and the largest coal producer in Central Appalachia.[4] Massey's mines yield around 40 million tons annually. The company controls 2.3 billion tons of proven and probable coal reserves in Southern West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Tennessee or about a third of all Central Appalachian reserves.[5] It currently employs approximately 5,400 people[3] and operates 35 underground mines and 12 surface mines.[6] Massey's use of the mountaintop removal coal mining method, plus numerous court cases, EPA fines and mine fatalities have frequently put Massey in the national spotlight.



A.T. Massey incorporated the A.T. Massey Coal Company in 1920 as a coal brokering business in Richmond, Va., and served as the company’s first president. A.T. Massey acquired its first mining operation in 1945 and expanded its business to include coal mining and processing. Several members of the Massey family succeeded A.T. Massey as company president, including Evan Massey in 1945, William E. Massey in 1962 and E. Morgan Massey in 1972.[7]

St. Joe Minerals acquired a majority interest in A.T. Massey in 1974. Six years later, St. Joe Minerals formed the Massey Coal Partnership, along with Royal Dutch Shell.[8] In 1981, the Fluor Corporation acquired St. Joe Minerals.[7] In 1984, the United Mine Workers of America went on strike against A.T. Massey, sparking a series of confrontations documented in the film Mine War on Blackberry Creek and in 1987, the Massey Coal Partnership was reorganized into A.T. Massey Coal Company, a wholly owned mining subsidiary of Fluor Corporation, initiating a period of significant growth through acquisitions.

A.T. Massey completed a reverse spin-off from Fluor Corporation in 2000 and was renamed Massey Energy Company.[9] Today, Massey Energy produces, processes, and sells bituminous coal of steam and metallurgical grades, primarily of low sulfur content, through its 22 processing and shipping centers, called "resource groups," many of which receive coal from multiple coal mines.[10]

Massey currently operates 35 underground mines and 12 surface mines in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia. In 2007, Massey announced a strategic alliance with Essar Mineral Resources Ltd., a member of Essar Group of India, to jointly evaluate and develop select business opportunities on a project-by-project basis.[11]

The company recently promoted several executives to new positions. In November 2008, Massey promoted Baxter Phillips Jr., formerly executive vice president and chief administrative officer, to president, a position previously held by Massey Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship.[12] Phillips’ new position will focus on Massey Energy's strategic growth plans and will continue to manage sales, finance, human resources, information systems and investor relations at the company's Richmond headquarters.[13]

In January 2009, the company promoted John M. Poma to vice president and chief administrative officer, Jeffrey M. Gillenwater to vice president of human resources[14] and Steve Sears to vice president of sales and marketing,[15] nearly a year after promoting Shane Harvey to general counsel.[16]

Board of directors

In response to a prolonged citizen campaign on the environment, on May 29, 2009 Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee announced his resignation from the Board of Massey Energy[17] Gee had said he believed he could do more environmental good on the board than off it. [18]


There are 19 coal minig sites run by Massey Energy. The sites are located in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia. Locations in West Virginia: Delbarton, Elk Run, Greun Valley, Guyandotte, Independece, Logan, County, Mammoth, Marfork, Nicholas Energy, Progress Energy, Rawl, Republic Energy, and Stirrat. Loctions in Kentucky: Long Fork, Martin County, New Ridge, and Sidney. Locations in Virginia: Knox Creek. [19]


Top Massey Energy competitors are [20]:



Court rulings

In 2005, Wheeling, W.Va.-based steelmaker Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel sued Massey Energy claiming Massey failed to deliver on a contract of 104,000 tons of coal monthly. In July 2007, a Circuit Court in Brooke County, W.Va. upheld the jury award of more than $267 million, including accrued interest. Massey appealed the case to the US Supreme Court, which declined to hear the appeal in December, 2008 [21].

In November 2008, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a $77 million case against Massey brought by Harman Mining. The suit alleges contract interference by Massey drove Harman out of business.[22]. Wal-Mart, PepsiCo, Intel Corporation, Lockheed Martin, Common Cause and Public Citizen filed briefs in the case urging the Supreme Court to throw out the West Virginia Supreme Court decision in favor of Massey. The corporations contended that Justice Brent Benjamin was biased in the case. On June 8, 2009, The US Supreme Court agreed 5-4, sending the case back to the West Virginia Supreme Court[23], and forcing Justice Benjamin to recuse himself from the case. The New York Times opined that the case involved "egregious ethical myopia" on the part of Justice Benjamin. [24]


In 2005, some residents of Raleigh County, West Virginia, complained that Massey's Goals Coal Company was endangering the health and well-being of students at the adjacent Marsh Fork Elementary School. In July 2005, the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection revoked a permit for construction of a coal silo near the school. However, some local employees and residents support Massey Energy by arguing that the economic benefits received from the company outweigh the environmental impact to the area. At a protest against the coal silo on June 23, 2009, anti-mountaintop removal activist [25]. 30 non-violent protestors were arrested, including actress Daryl Hannah, NASA climatologist James E. Hansen, and former West Virginia Congressman Ken Hechler. In June 2009, the West Virgina Supreme Court concluded that the Massey was allowed to build their second silo; "We therefore find that the circuit court did not err, and properly affirmed the decision of the West Virginia Surface Mine Board." [26]

In February 2003 a judge ordered Massey to pay the residents of Sylvester, West Virginia $473,000 to settle complaints that coal dust from Massey's Elk Run Processing Plant had caused health problems and lowered property values in the nearby town.[27] The judge also ordered Massey to construct a cloth dome over their facility to reduce the dust.[28]

On September 16, 2004, a civil jury ordered Massey to pay $1.54 million in damages to 245 residents of Mingo County, W. Va., who lost their water wells after Massey had mined beneath the homes. The jury concluded that Massey acted “with malicious, willful, wanton, reckless or intentional disregard for plaintiffs’ rights.” [29]

In December, 2008 residents of Prenter, West Virginia filed a lawsuit claiming that underground slurry injection from a Massey coal facility and other coal preparation plants contaminated their underground water supply [30]

Environmental record

In early 2008, the company agreed to a $20 million settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) to resolve thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act for routinely polluting waterways in Kentucky and West Virginia with coal slurry and wastewater. Although this was the largest Clean Water Act settlement, the violations were estimated to have fines on the order of $2.4 billion.[31] Over 700 miles of rivers and streams in the coalfields have been buried by the waste rock left over from mountaintop removal, a method of strip mining coal which requires the blowing up of mountain tops, removing from 500 to 800 feet (240 m) of mountaintop in the process. This method of coal mining has created some of the worst environmental disasters in the Mississippi area in regards to the poisoning of waterways, the flooding of local communities, and the destruction of the biodiversity of the Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

In October 2000, a Massey Energy subsidiary in Martin County, Kentucky accidentally released 306 million gallons of coal slurry waste from an impoundment into two mountain streams, Coldwater Creek and Wolf Creek (see photo right). The Martin County sludge spill was called the worst ever environmental disaster in the southeastern United States by the EPA. The spill smothered all aquatic life in the streams and left residents with contaminated drinking water. Cleanup costs for the spill were approximately $50 million.

Wolf Creek, October 22, 2000

Mine safety

On January 19, 2006 a belt line fire killed miners Don I. Bragg, 33, and Ellery Elvis Hatfield, 47, at Massey's Aracoma Alma Number 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. Efforts to fight the fire were hampered by inadequate fire extinguishers, fire house couplings which did not match the water line, and a lack of water in the lines [32]. On December 22, 2008 Massey Energy agreed to pay $4.2 million in civil and criminal penalties for the accident.[33] It is the largest financial settlement in the coal industry's history.[34]

On Jan. 15, 2009 the Charleston (WV) Gazette reported that Aracoma widows Delorice Bragg and Freda Hatfield urged U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver to reject Massey's plea bargain and fine for the accident [35].

Widow Bragg stated that it was clear "that Massey executives much farther up the line expected the Alma Mine to emphasize production over the safety of the coal miners inside."

On February 1, 2006, bulldozer operator Paul K. Moss, 58, of Sissonville West Virginia died when his machine ruptured a 16-inch (410 mm) natural gas line at Elk Run Coal Co.'s Black Castle surface mine [36]. The bulldozer was immediately engulfed in flames. According to the Mine Safety and Health Administration report, operator Moss exited the cab but his body was found behind the blade.

On Oct 8, 2008 Steven Cain, 32, of Comfort, West Virginia was killed at Massey Energy's Independence Coal Justice No. 1 Mine when he was crushed by a railcar. A Mine Safety and Health Administration report [37] concludes Cain was killed because Massey managers assigned him a dangerous job, although he had “little mining experience and minimal training.”[38]

Massey's Safety Policy as stated on its website: "Safety is the top priority for every Massey member. No coal company can succeed over the long term without a total commitment to safety and a significant investment in the necessary training, equipment and personnel. We strive to remain an industry leader in safety by developing new technologies and employing effective training programs to reduce accidents and improve safety for all of the hard-working men and women of Massey Energy."[39]

Age Discrimination

On Oct 30, 2009, Fayette County WV Judge Paul Blake ruled in an age discrimination lawsuit that more than 200 miners who were not rehired after Massey Energy Co. bought a bankrupt West Virginia mine were entitled to a settlement of $8.75 million. The suit covers 229 miners, including 82 union miners. Massey has been ordered to rehire the miners. Under the terms of the settlement, the 82 union miners will each receive $38,000. The remaining miners will receive $19,000.[40]

EPA complaint

In January 2008, the United States Department of Justice ordered Massey to pay fines totaling $30 million as part of an agreement resulting from a May 2007 complaint filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‎.[41]


In 2009, there have been fourteen trespassing incidents at Massey mines in West Virginia. Protests have involved activists going onto mine sites, chaining themselves to heavy equipment, blocking roads, occupying two trees to stop blasting, and putting up large banners. In June 2009, a Raleigh County judge granted a preliminary injunction to block anti-mountaintop removal activists from further peaceful protests on some Massey Energy sites.[42][43]

Community service

Massey Energy supports the health, education and cultural enrichment of children and adults in Central Appalachia through the sponsorship of medical and mining education, community projects and sporting events.

Much of Massey's community and philanthropic efforts are managed by the company's Spousal Groups, which organize school programs and volunteers, assist the elderly by providing meals and visiting nursing homes, and plan the annual Christmas Extravaganza for local children.[44]

Corporate social responsibility report

Massey released its inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report in the fall of 2008.[45] The report provides an overview of Massey Energy's corporate commitment to and accomplishments in improving the safety of coal mining, protecting the environment and serving the community. Coal mine operator Massey Energy issues 32-page corporate responsibility report. Associated Press Newswire.</ref> The full report is available on Massey's corporate Web site.[46]

Support of education

Massey's Partners in Education program provides financial assistance for academic materials, recreational equipment and building improvements as well as provides volunteers at primary and secondary schools throughout Appalachia. Participant schools include Scott High School and Van Junior/Senior High School; Sacred Heart and Williamson Middle Schools; and Marsh Fork, Johns Creek and Southside Elementary Schools.[47]

In May 2008, Massey announced it would donate more than $1 million in college and post-graduate scholarships to help students from Central Appalachia communities pursue engineering and health care degrees. The funds will be distributed to dozens of students over the next five years.[48]

In addition, Massey is a prominent sponsor of the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation (ALEF), a non-profit organization that allows young men and women from Appalachia to pursue higher education though scholarship and leadership curricula.[49] Over the years, Massey has sponsored numerous scholarships for local students through ALEF. Massey board member General Robert Foglesong is the founder of ALEF and presently serves as the foundation’s executive director.[50]

Massey Energy formed Doctors for our Communities with Marshall University in 1997 to provide financial assistance to incoming M.D. degree candidates in the Marshall University School of Medicine.[51] Massey forgives all loans made through the program as long as the recipient practices medicine for a minimum of seven years in Massey’s operating region.[52][53]

Massey donated $250,000 to Marshall to assist in renovations of the Fred and Christine Shewey Athletic Building.[54][55]

Massey pledged more than $300,000 to the University of Kentucky (UK) in 2007 to assist with enhancements to the UK Department of Mining Engineering's laboratory facilities, provide annual tuition assistance to four UK engineering students, and support the university's Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration student chapter.[47] UK named Massey Energy a John Bryan Bowman Fellow in recognition of the company’s generous support.[56]

Massey Energy has donated a total of $80,000 to the struggling town of Cedar Grove. The town will use $75,000 to finish building a new park in the center of town, and the remaining $5,000 for athletic activities for middle school children and field trips for the grade school children.[57]

Family Wellness Center

Massey established the Family Wellness Center in 2005 to serve Massey families in southern West Virginia, recognizing that residents in rural areas often lack access to primary care physicians and health care facilities. The Family Wellness Center offers comprehensive medical services including lab work, x-rays and cardiac testing.[58] McDowell and Logan county in West Virgina rank among the 25 worst countywide life expectancy averages in the United States according to a study by Harvard University. Many attribute this to the nature of mining operations.[59]

See also


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  3. ^ a b [1]
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  20. ^ "Massey Energy Company". Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  21. ^ "U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Massey Energy appeal against Wheeling Pitt". Pittsburgh Business Times. 02 December 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  22. ^ Len Boselovic (14 November 2008). "U.S. Supreme Court to hear Massey case". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Vivian Stockman. "Sylvester 'Dustbusters' Beat Up On Massey Energy". Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  28. ^ Ken Ward Jr. (10 January 2007). "Battle continues for DEP, Massey". The Charleston Gazette. Archived from the original on 10 January 2007. 
  29. ^ Martha Bryson Hodel (17 September 2004). "Jury orders Massey Coal to pay $1.54M for drying up neighbors' wells". The Daily Record. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Massey Energy to Pay Largest Civil Penalty Ever for Water Permit Violations". United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2008-01-17. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  32. ^ Dennis B. Roddy (03 November 2006). "W.Va. report finds problems existed before Aracoma fire". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  33. ^ Brian Farkas (23 December 2008). "Massey Energy to pay $4.2M in 2006 fatal fire case". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  34. ^ "Largest Settlement in the Coal Industry's History". United States Department of Justice. 23 December 2008. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  35. ^ Ken Ward Jr. (15 January 2009). "Aracoma: Widows oppose Massey plea deal". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  36. ^ "Coal Mine Safety and Health: Report of Investigation". United States Department of Labor. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  37. ^
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  41. ^ Ian Urbina (18 January 2008). "U.S. Fines Mine Owner $20 Million for Pollution". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  42. ^ Judge orders halt to mining protests
  43. ^ Activists plan protest at Massey coal plant
  44. ^ Source:
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  47. ^ a b
  48. ^ Massey to give out $1 million in scholarships (2008, May 12). Charleston Gazette, p.5A.
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  53. ^ (2008, May 12). Massey to give out $1 million in scholarships. Charleston Gazette, p.5A.
  54. ^
  55. ^ (2008, July 21). Massey Energy Completes $250,000 Commitment to Marshall University. Targeted News Service.
  56. ^
  57. ^ (2008, May 2). Massey gives $80,000 to Cedar Grove, Don Blakenship says gift continues tradition company started in the '80s. Charleston Gazette, p. 8A.
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Other sources

External links


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