The nation’s largest privately-held coal producer, Murray Energy, said Oct. 5 that it has sued the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) for its alleged failure to respond to Murray Energy’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding OSMRE’s recently-released Stream Protection Rule.
This FOIA request, which was filed on Sept. 4, requested key information to assist Murray Energy in drafting its written comments regarding what the cmpany calls “this destructive and illegal Rule.” Despite repeated requests, OSMRE and its parent, the Department of the Interior (DOI), have completely ignored Murray Energy’s filing, in violation of federal law, Murray Energy said.
“This withholding of records furthers the pattern of clandestine actions by the Obama Administration’s DOI and OSMRE,” said the company. “Indeed, OSMRE worked on this Rule for over six (6) years, in secret, with the clear intent of destroying America’s coal industry, and eliminating low cost, reliable coal-fired electricity in America.”
“The Obama Administration’s so-called Stream Protection Rule (‘Rule’) is the single greatest threat to the jobs and family livelihoods of our employees that I have seen in my fifty eight (58) years of coal mining experience,” said Robert E. Murray, Murray Energy’s founder, chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer. “This Rule bans underground coal mining by the longwall and other methods beneath dry ditches on the surface. In doing so, the Obama Administration, its radical bureaucrats and Democrat supporters, have, with this rule, yet again, acted illegally, and with the deliberant intent to destroy our nation’s underground coal mines and put our nation’s coal miners out of work. They have completely ignored our requests for information regarding their clandestine actions, which is a clear violation of Federal laws and regulations, and we will hold them accountable for their unlawful actions.”
Murray Energy is the largest underground coal mining company in America, employing over 7,000 people in six states, and currently operates seventeen active underground coal mines in Ohio, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Utah.