Monday, August 31, 2009

Who knew? who Verizon's Friends and Family really were

My cell phone company will soon no longer be providing cell phone services. I've not even begun to 'shop around' but already one is off my list, Verizon Wireless. Sprint might as well be harmful to the environment in some aspect of them doing business, green cell phones who's got em?
time to change "friends and family" selections
Verizon sponsors climate-change-denying mountaintop-removal rally?

Verizon Wireless needs to reconsider its “Friends and Family” feature—or, more pointedly, withdraw its support for Massey Energy’s outrageously bogus “Friends of America” rally on Labor Day weekend.

Do 87 million Verizon Wireless customers, stockholders, and its Public Policy Development and Corporate Responsibility Department know that their company is a cosponsor of next week’s climate change–denying, union-busting, pro–mountaintop removal rally organized by Massey Energy in Logan, W.Va.? (And what about Greenebaum Doll and McDonald, “a top 200 trademark law firm”—perhaps the rally’s most odd sponsor?)

Does the Environmental Defense Fund, which recognized Verizon’s Green Initiatives—to save energy, support solar and other renewable-energy sources, and lower its greenhouse-gas emissions—know that Verizon Wireless is sponsoring an event at which the featured speaker is Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and one of the most infamous global-warming deniers?

On its Green Press Kit site, Verizon claims, “Environmental stewardship is ingrained in Verizon’s heritage, and the company prides itself on having a positive influence on the environment in which it operates.” The page links to info on solar-energy and energy-efficiency measures undertaken by various offices.

Does Verizon know that 500 mountains have been destroyed, historic communities devastated, and watersheds polluted by mountaintop removal—and that Massey Energy has worked aggressively to not only wipe out our nation’s carbon sink of deciduous forests in Appalachia, but also any attempts at renewable energy and development in the region? Read about Massey’s role in strip-mining the last ridge on Coal River Mountain and impeding an incredible wind farm.

Do the Communications Workers of America, who represent Verizon technicians, know that the bogus “Friends of America” rally is a blatant anti-union event aimed at taking down the 70th annual United Mine Workers of America picnic, and that Massey Energy is defiantly anti-union?

So why is Verizon sponsoring this pro–mountaintop removal rally on a strip-mine site? Does Verizon support Massey Energy’s ruthless mountaintop-removal campaign and its infamous CEO Don Blankenship? Check out this ABC News report on Blankenship’s campaign to bankroll the West Virginia courts:



During their 4th quarter 2008 earnings call last spring, Massey Energy executives crowed that “2008 was a very exciting and successful year for Massey, by many measures, the most successful in our history. As you know, we undertook a very aggressive expansion plan in late 2007, and our members executed that plan almost to perfection in 2008.” And then, in answering a question about how 2010 guidance could lower production 10 percent and impact the high head count, a Massey executive simply responded with the bottom line of profiteers: “I think the answer would be that we will be able to reduce the workforce with attrition fairly markedly,” and “we also will cut back on salaries.”

Bottom line: Massey Energy profits up, jobs down. Find out more about Massey.

And here’s Lord Monckton:




George Monbiot has thoroughly debunked Monckton’s anti–global warming thesis

Verizon should withdraw its sponsorship of this bogus rally immediately—or explain its support of mountaintop removal, climate-change denial, and union-busting to its 87 million customers.

Call or text or email Verizon Wireless corporate leaders and let them know. CEO Dennis Strigl can be emailed at Dennis.Strigl@verizonwireless.com. Verizon HQ is here:

1 Verizon Way
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920-1097
(908) 559-7000

Jeff Biggers is the American Book Award-winning author of The United States of Appalachia, and In the Sierra Madre. His next book, Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, is forthcoming in January 2010 (The Nation/Basic Books). His website is: www.jeffbiggers.com

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