Coal Company Whose CEO Sucked Up To Trump Files For Bankruptcy

One of the largest coal companies in the nation is filing for bankruptcy despite its CEO cozying up to President Donald Trump over the last three years, signaling once again that fossil fuels are on the way out, and clean energy is taking over.

CEO Robert Murray is a climate change denier who has claimed that the 4,000 scientists who supposedly work for him all agree that it’s not real.

Of course, those scientists are paid to give him results he likes, and the existence of climate change is not good for business because coal is a major contributor of carbon emissions that are causing global temperatures to rise. It’s the same kind of tactics that the oil industry uses to remain in business.

Unwilling to leave the industry that has been making him wealthy at the expense of the environment and the health and well-being of the miners who risk their lives to extract coal out of the ground, Murray has been lobbying the Trump administration to slash regulations and give his company millions of dollars of taxpayer money through subsidies.

But despite all of that sucking up, Murray Energy decided to file bankruptcy anyway becoming the eighth coal company to make such a filing in just the last year.

“Although a bankruptcy filing is not an easy decision, it became necessary to access liquidity and best position Murray Energy and its affiliates for the future of our employees and customers and our long-term success,” Murray in a statement to Reuters.

But it appears that Murray only has himself to blame for the bankruptcy because his company foolishly spent a lot of money purchasing assets it could not afford.

“The main reasons why Murray is in the financial position that it’s in is that it purchased a lot of assets over the last few years, which gave it a big debt position,” Wood Mackenzie thermal coal research analyst Natalie Biggs told NPR.

Regardless, the coal industry is clearly dying as the transition to clean energy continues. Of course, Murray Energy’s workers are not amused by the Chapter 11 filing

“We have seen this sad act too many times before,” United Mine Workers of America president Cecil Roberts said in a statement. “Now comes the part where workers and their families pay the price for corporate decision-making and governmental actions. But that does not mean we will sit idly by and let the company and the court dictate what happens to our members and our retirees. We have high-powered legal, financial and communications teams in place that will fight to protect our members’ interests in the bankruptcy court.”

Again, the coal industry is becoming irrelevant. It’s not because of government regulations, but because better sources of energy have arrived. For too long, coal has expelled billions of tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, harming the environment and the public health along the way. The fight against climate change requires the switch to clean energy, and that is precisely what nations around the globe are doing as coal companies around the world shut down.

The government can no longer prop up the coal industry. Change is coming. And coal miners can either jump ship now and start training to deliver the energy of the future, or they can watch as their jobs inevitably disappear.

Featured Image: Wikimedia

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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