Murray Energy lashes back at Ohio senator over coal worker retraining

Ohio-based coal producer Murray Energy, founded by Republican Party stalwart Robert Murray, on Sept. 2 struck back at an announcement the prior day from U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, that $1 million in federal job retraining money is being allocated to out-of-work coal miners.

Said the company, which has coal mines in several states, including Ohio: “Over the past ten years, Sherrod Brown has repeatedly turned his back on hardworking coal miners in the State of Ohio and, instead, supported each and every illegal and destructive anti-coal policy coming out of Washington. This $1 million is an absolute pittance compared to the devastation Senator Brown has caused throughout the State of Ohio, particularly in areas which rely on the coal industry and manufacturing, and the citizens who rely on affordable electricity.

“Frankly, these coal miners do not want a government handout or taxpayer ‘welfare.’ Instead, they only want to work in honor and dignity, but are being denied that by the actions of Senator Brown and Barack Obama. Further, if they own anything, it is their homes, and they have no one to sell them to. Thus, they cannot leave the area or be trained for anything else, making these training and transitioning funds useless.

“Even worse, Senator Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, who has said that she is ‘gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies outta business.’ We, therefore, must conclude that Senator Brown shares the same animosity toward coal miners in the State of Ohio and the lives and livelihoods that depend on them.”

Brown had announced $1,083,750 in federal funding for miners and their families living in coal communities that have experienced layoffs. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded the funding to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to continue ongoing reemployment efforts for workers who have been dislocated.

“The changing coal economy has put some workers out of a job through no fault of their own,” said Brown. “This grant will give Ohio the tools to continue its support for displaced workers and help them get back on their feet.”

Ohio received an initial investment of $916,250 last year after DOL approved a National Dislocated Worker Grant for the state. The award announced Sept. 1 will bring Ohio’s total federal funding for these efforts to $2 million. The funding is affiliated with the inter-agency Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) initiative. The POWER Initiative aims to strengthen local economies impacted by the changing coal economy.

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.