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.