“How many of you have been laid off at least once in your career as coal miners?” Robert Murray asks a group of coal mining foreman assembled at the St. Clairsville, Ohio headquarters of Murray Energy. Nearly every hand in the room goes up. The 75-year-old is CEO and president of Murray Energy, one of America’s largest coal companies.
New regulation initiated by the Obama administration, as well as competition with low natural gas prices, has resulted in an industry that has $45 billion dollars in outstanding liabilities, according to analysis conducted by McKinsey business management consultants. These developments have threatened the future of an industry which, for decades, has employed thousands of Americans.
Coal runs deep in St. Clairsville, a community of 5,000 nestled among the rolling hills of Eastern Ohio. Signs on the front lawns of homes here declare, “Proud Union Home” and, “No to Obama’s War on Coal.” Both signs can be found across Appalachian coal country.
“I moved my headquarters here from Cleveland four years ago because I wanted to be support my own people and the community I’m from,” Robert Murray explains. Murray was born into a coal-mining family. After his father was paralyzed in a coal-mining incident, Murray lied about his age and began working in coal mines at the age of 16. He purchased his first coal mine, now known as Powhatan #6 Mine, in 1988.
Read the full article here.
- On January 25, 2016