Murray Energy cuts retiree medical coverage at ex-CONSOL mines

Ohio-based Murray Energy on April 16 confirmed that, as of Dec, 31, 2014, and in keeping with Murray Energy’s historic practice, it will not be able to provide retiree medical coverage to salaried retirees of Murray American Energy, which was formerly Consolidation Coal.

Murray Energy, founded by coal operator Robert Murray, bought in late 2013 several longwall mines in northern West Virginia, which had been for many years under the unionized Consolidation Coal unit of CONSOL Energy (NYSE: CNX). CONSOL kept its two non-union longwall mines in the region. 

Murray Energy said that its inability to provide these benefits is, in part, due to the ongoing “destruction” of the coal industry, including its power plant markets, by the Obama Administration and its appointees and supporters, who have eliminated the livelihoods of thousands of coal miners, and their families, by the forced closing of 392 coal-fired power plants in America, now and in the immediate future.

Murray Energy said it is making this announcement at this time to allow affected salaried retirees of Consolidation Coal the opportunity to make other arrangements. Over 80% of the lost benefits can be made up with Medicare. Also, these former Consolidation Coal retirees have good pension benefits. The company has provided these salaried retirees with information on and access to alternate coverage.

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.