Murray Energy laying off workers at three coal operations

Ohio-based Murray Energy, the largest independent coal producer in the U.S., blamed the Obama Administration’s “War on Coal” for layoffs at its UtahAmerican Energy, The American Coal Co. and Kanawha Transportation Center operations.

It said in Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 statements that 102 workers were being laid off at UtahAmerican, 54 at American Coal and seven at the Kanawha Transportation Center. In each case, the company blamed Obama Administration policies, but didn’t provide specifics on what impact these layoffs would have on each of these operaions.

“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 lead to the closure by 2014 of 204 American coal-fired power plants,” the company said. “Because our coal markets are being so drastically reduced, in some regions and at some of our Companies at greater rates than the national industry, there is nowhere to sell our coal, and when we can, the market prices are far lower. Without markets, there can be no coal mines and no coal jobs.”

American Coal runs the Galatia deep mine complex in Illinois, made up of the New Era and New Future mines. U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration data shows that New Era produced 4.6 million tons in the first nine months of this year and 5 million tons in all of 2011. New Future produced 3.2 million tons in the first nine months of this year and 1.8 million tons in all of 2011, according to MSHA data.

Listed under UtahAmerican at MSHA is the new Lila Canyon deep mine in Utah, which has been in pre-longwall development production. MSHA data shows that the mine produced 233,357 tons in the first nine months of this year and 156,201 tons in all of 2011. Also in Utah, Murray has the West Ridge longwall mine, listed with MSHA under West Ridge Resources.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.