Robert E. Murray, seen here in a picture from an article about his company’s gross safety violations, is a mean old coot. Mr. Murray is a job-creator and CEO of Murray Energy, the company famous for polluting and forcing its workers to attend a Romney rally under the threat of termination (the footage of the miners was then used in a Romney campaign ad, natch). And now, he’s actually used the re-election of President Barack Obama as an excuse to lay off more of his workers, as the Washington Post reports:
For the chairman and chief executive of Murray Energy, an Ohio-based coal company, the reelection of President Obama was no cause for celebration. It was a time for prayer – and layoffs.
Robert E. Murray read a prayer to a group of company staff members on the day after the election, lamenting the direction of the country and asking: “Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build.”
In total, Robert E. Murray laid off 154 workers, and blamed the unfriendly presidential administration for the company’s woes. It’s too bad though that the woes of coal are actually tied to the boom in natural gas, not because coal is spectacularly dirty, as reddit user Quietlike explains:
Nothing changed. Coal is suffering from competition with Natural Gas. Around the time of Hurricane Katrina, natural gas prices were through the fucking roof, so coal was selling like hot cakes for power generation purposes. Now, courtesy of fracking, natural gas is super plentiful in North America. It’s very difficult to transport long distances, so it’s not a global commodity. In other words, the price for NG in North America is much, much lower than it is in other parts of the world.
And reddit user kgphoto, who actually was one of those now-laid off coal miners, provides this press release, with the explanation that “Most coal fired plant closures that they talk about are simply because the plants are too old. The regulations President Obama has put into place only affect plants to be built, which at the time they went into effect there were no plans to build any new plants.”
Here’s hoping those 154 guys can find new jobs quickly. Maybe at a wind farm or something. And Robert E. Murray falls in a puddle.