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Elections, Politics

Obama’s War on Coal is causing permanent damage

Posted: August 30, 2012 at 9:50 am   /   by

Obama’s war on coal may be able to be stopped, but the damage it has already done is irreversible:

The founder and CEO of the nation’s 12th largest coal producer told Human Events in an exclusive interview that President Barack Obama’s war on coal has done permanent damage to America’s competitiveness.

“It can be stopped, but it cannot be reversed,” said Robert E. Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, a privately-held coal producer based in Pepper Pike, Ohio.

Obama is planning to close 175 power plants by 2020, roughly equivalent to 83,000 megawatts, he said. Most of the plants will go off the grid by 2014.

The physical reality is that idle coal mines or coal-fired electric generating plants atrophy, he said.

“Those plants are not designed to remain idle,” he said. “The boilers and turbines are made to keep heat in them and they start deteriorating very rapidly.”

The same is also true for coal mines, he said.

“A coal mine is a living thing,” Murray said. “Once you stop the operation of a coal mine, they flood very quickly, and secondly, the roof conditions, even if you can keep it pumped out, slake.”

“The roof slakes, the roof spalls — these are mining terms,” he said. “As the moisture in the air goes underground from the hot air outside into the 58 degrees underground, the air currents just cut the roof down like a knife. The mine was a living thing. When it dies, you cannot bring it back.”


The jobs that Obama and his EPA have destroyed are not coming back. This was their goal all along. That they expect to win Pennsylvania and Ohio while waging war on its people is mind-boggling.


Here are some War on Coal facts:


  • Coal provides more than 85% of Ohio’s electricity
  • 59.1 million short tons of coal use generated 130.93 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
  • Ohio ranks 3rd in US coal usage
  • Coal accounts for more than 19,000 high-paying Ohio jobs
  • Coal accounts for a combined payroll of more than $800 million dollars. []


  • Coal provides more than 52% of Pennsylvania’s electricity
  • 53.2 million short tons of coal produced 118.03 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
  • Pennsylvania ranks 5th in US coal usage
  • Coal accounts for more than 49,100 high-paying Pennsylvania jobs
  • Coal accounts for a combined payroll of more than $2.2 billion dollars []


  • Coal provides more than 97% of West Virginia’s electricity
  • 37.8 million short tons of coal produced 89.70 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
  • West Virginia ranks 2nd in US coal production
  • Coal accounts for more than 84,000 high-paying West Virginia jobs
  • Coal accounts for a combined payroll of more than $4.2 billion dollars. []


  •  Coal provides more than 36% of Texas’ electricity
  • 101.6 million short tons of coal produced 147.04 billion kilowatt hours of electricity
  • Texas ranks 1st in US coal use
  • Minerals and non-metal mining accounts for more than 32,000 high-paying Texas jobs
  • Mining efforts in Texas contribute over 13 billion dollars towards GDP. []

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Christopher Cook

Christopher Cook

Managing Editor at Western Free Press
Christopher Cook is a writer, editor, and political commentator. He is the president of Castleraine, Inc., a consulting firm providing a diverse array of services to corporate, public policy, and not-for-profit clients.

Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including (now a part of Western Free Press) and He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to
Christopher Cook