Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Even Coal Baron Robert Murray Knows the Future of Coal is Dead

Climate

Last week, Standard & Poor dropped huge multinational coal company Peabody Energy from its S&P 500 Index. Last spring, SNL Energy News said that, "The total market value of publicly traded U.S. coal companies has rebounded slightly in recent months, but remains nearly 63 percent lower than a total of the same companies at a near-term coal market peak in April 2011," citing "a perfect storm of factors, including new federal regulations impacting coal-burning power plants, cheap competing fuels, railroad service issues and weak global markets."

There'll be no light at the end of the tunnel for the coal industry if U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations on carbon emissions go into effect, says coal tycoon Bob Murray.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

And, as nearly 400,000 people marched in the People's Climate March in New York City, raising pressure for action on climate change, coal loomed as a target. A parade of world government, business and financial leaders talked about their proposed efforts to reduce emissions—which means reducing the use of coal.

Needless to say, this isn't making Robert Murray happy. He's founder and CEO of the Murray Energy, the largest privately held coal company in the U.S., based in south central Ohio.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Murray spoke at a coal industry conference this week, predicting gloom and doom for the industry and for humanity if carbon regulations are increased. He says proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations will permanently destroy the coal industry adding, “Grandma is going to be cold and in the dark with what they’re doing.” He's already filed multiple lawsuits against the EPA.

Murray's speech was filled with the sort of florid language he is known for. SNL Energy News reported:

"It isn't about me. I'm an old man," he said, his voice rising. "It isn't about Murray Energy. It's about what's happening to this country. It starts with my employees. If they own anything, it's their home. And if two of them lose their jobs, who are they going to sell it to? These people just want to work with honor and dignity for the rest of their lives and they are denied that. They go to the negative side of the ledger and they stay there forever. This is not the country I cherish." 

"Mr. Murray likened the White House to the Gestapo and the SS during Nazi Germany, and said it has pushed back against his efforts to stop environmental regulations to such an extent that he has felt compelled to hire former CIA operatives to provide security," wrote the Post-Gazette.

Earlier this year, he told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that regulations on coal emissions are "evil" and a "power grab of America's power grid."

Murray first attracted widespread public attention in 2007, following the collapse of his Crandall Canyon mine in Utah that killed six miners when he made statements widely perceived to be insensitive and insisted that the collapse was caused by an earthquake, contrary to what scientists found.

Controversy seems to follow Murray. He's lobbied against legislation mandating safety devices for miners. In 2012, he again attracted public attention when some miners claimed employees were ordered to attend a Mitt Romney campaign event or lose their jobs. The nonprofit group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint against the company with the Federal Elections Commission charging that it pressured employers to donate 1 percent of their salary to a company PAC that supported candidates such as Romney, Rick Perry, Eric Cantor and Scott Brown. And Murray sued the Charleston Gazette for its coverage of his support of Romney. Earlier this year, he told Fox News' Neil Cavuto that regulations on coal emissions are "evil" and a "power grab of America's power grid."

Last year, George Elmaraghy, director of the water division of Ohio's EPA resigned, saying he was forced out by Gov. John Kasich and pressure from the coal industry, which donated over $1 million to Kasich's 2010 campaign coffers. The Columbus Dispatch reported, "More than $870,000 of the overall amount comes from just two coal families: the Boiches, who run the Boich companies, and Robert Murray, who runs Murray Energy."

And of course, he's an outspoken climate denier. "This global warming is a hoax," he told Cavuto. He told West Virginia Executive in May that one of his lawsuits against the EPA was to force them to "tell the truth" about global warming.

"They are not telling hardly any truth about the science," he said. "The earth has actually cooled over the last 17 years, so under the Data Quality Act, they’ve actually been lying about so-called global warming.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Coal CEO Wants to Sue EPA For ‘Lying About So-Called Global Warming'

EPA Administrator Declares War on Coal on ‘Real Time With Bill Maher'

The Incredible Shrinking U.S. Coal Industry

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A view of a washed out road near Utuado, Puerto Rico, after a Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew dropped relief supplies to residents Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017. The locals were stranded after Hurricane Maria by washed out roads and mudslides. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric D. Woodall / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Coral Natalie Negrón Almodóvar

The Earth began to shake as Tamar Hernández drove to visit her mother in Yauco, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 28, 2019. She did not feel that first tremor — she felt only the ensuing aftershocks — but she worried because her mother had an ankle injury and could not walk. Then Hernández thought, "What if something worse is coming our way?"

Read More
Flooded battery park tunnel is seen after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. CC BY 2.0

President Trump has long touted the efficacy of walls, funneling billions of Defense Department dollars to build a wall on the southern border. However, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) released a study that included plans for a sea wall to protect New Yorkers from sea-level rise and catastrophic storms like Hurricane Sandy, Trump mocked it as ineffective and unsightly.

Read More
Sponsored
A general view of fire damaged country in the The Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area near the town of Blackheath on Feb. 21, 2020 in Blackheath, Australia. Brook Mitchell / Getty Images

In a post-mortem of the Australian bushfires, which raged for five months, scientists have concluded that their intensity and duration far surpassed what climate models had predicted, according to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change.

Read More
Sea level rise causes water to spill over from the Lafayette River onto Llewellyn Ave in Norfolk, Virginia just after high tide on Aug. 5, 2017. This road floods often, even when there is no rain. Skyler Ballard / Chesapeake Bay Program

By Tim Radford

The Texan city of Houston is about to grow in unexpected ways, thanks to the rising tides. So will Dallas. Real estate agents in Atlanta, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; and Las Vegas, Nevada could expect to do roaring business.

Read More
Malala Yousafzai (left) and Greta Thunberg (right) met in Oxford University Tuesday. Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

What happens when a famous school striker meets a renowned campaigner for education rights?

Read More