Murray Energy Fires 163 Workers, Citing a ‘War on Coal’

From The Wall Street Journal

By Sonja Elmquist

Murray Energy Corp., the largest closely held coal company in the U.S., is laying off 163 workers at three subsidiaries, citing a “War on Coal” by the Obama administration.

“The actions of Mr. Obama and his appointees in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, and Department of Labor, have already led to the closure by 2014 of 204 American coal-fired power plants,” the company said in three statements e-mailed today.

Murray laid off 54 employees at The American Coal Co., based in Galatia, Illinois, 102 workers at Utah American Energy Inc., in East Carbon, Utah and seven workers at Kanawha Transportation Center Inc., in Wheeling, West Virginia.

U.S. coal producers have shut mines and fired thousands of workers this year after cutting tens of millions of tons of output in the face of weaker demand and prices. Coal use has declined as some power stations switched to burning natural gas. The industry is also facing regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that restrict the burning of coal to produce power and limit new mining permits.

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