Murray Energy Corp. said in a news release Monday that it has notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of its intent to file a lawsuit against the agency “to combat the EPA’s illegal promulgation of senseless and destructive regulations, with absolutely no regard for their job and family destruction.”
According to the release, the company, based in St. Clairsville, Ohio, said the Clean Air Act, as passed by Congress and signed into law, “clearly requires the Obama EPA to consider job losses in its issuance of regulations, and it has never complied with the law.”
In its official notice, Murray Energy demands that the EPA immediately comply with the Clean Air Act and evaluate the job losses “caused by its disastrous regulations. Indeed, over the past several years, the Obama EPA has promulgated a series of rules and regulations seeking to eliminate the United States coal industry, and the very good jobs and low-cost electricity that it provides.
“Indeed, the lives and livelihoods of entire families in many regions of America are being destroyed.”
The company also said it believes “there will be virtually no environmental benefit from these radical EPA regulations.”
Murray noted that at least 392 coal-fired electric power plants in America have been closed or identified for closure by the EPA, which it said equates to a loss of about 100,000 megawatts of lowest cost electric power available across the country.
In filing the notice and lawsuit, Murray Energy said it is fighting to protect coal miners, low-cost electricity for all Americans and for American manufacturers of products which must compete in the global marketplace.
“Unfortunately, we had no choice but to file this notice and lawsuit,” said Gary M. Broadbent, assistant general counsel and media director for Murray Energy.
“The Clean Air Act is crystal clear in requiring the EPA to evaluate the negative impact that their regulations will have on jobs, but they have repeatedly been derelict in their duty.”
“We must defend these jobs, families, and America, and force the EPA and President Obama to comply with the law.”
Murray Energy also said there will be further litigation resulting from the Obama EPA’s destructive and illegal actions, but declined to discuss them at this time.
Murray Energy is one of the largest employers in the U.S. coal industry, providing more than 7,100 jobs and operating 13 active coal mines in six states.
In October, Consol Energy Inc. announced the sale of all five of its longwall coal mines in West Virginia to a subsidiary of Murray Energy for $3.5 billion.
The mines purchased by Murray were the McElroy, Shoemaker, Robinson Run, Loveridge and Blacksville No. 2 mines.
The transaction, which was completed in early December, included the transfer of 3,722 hourly and salaried employees to Murray.
At the time of the sale, Murray said the transaction would nearly double its coal production from 30.1 million tons to 58.6 million tons per year, and nearly triple its coal reserves from 859 million tons to almost 2.4 billion tons. The company’s workforce doubled from 3,300 to 7,100 employees.