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Bankrupt Murray Energy coal company still banks on Trump, FEC records show

Bankrupt Murray Energy coal company still banks on Trump, FEC records show
Coal Company head Robert Murray meets with employees.

In an Aug, 26, 2007 file photo, Robert Murray, center, chief executive of Murray Energy Corp., smiles while talking to Dave Canning, left, and Mike Glassom, right, two miners in charge of drilling bore holes into the Crandall Canyon M before a news conference northwest of Huntington, Utah. In the early days of the Trump administration, Murray sent a four-page “action plan” to the White House calling for rollbacks of key environmental and mine safety regulations he claimed would help revive the struggling mining industry. (AP Photo/Kenny Crookston, File)AP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Murray Energy Corp. may have filed for bankruptcy, but the coal company’s political action committee is still banking on President Donald Trump.

New filings at the Federal Election Commission show the PAC for the Ohio-based company that declared bankruptcy in October donated $160,000 in July to a “Trump Victory” fund dedicated to the re-election of a president who campaigned on bringing back the coal industry.

Soon after Trump took office, Murray presented him with a list of policy requests. Trump acted on several of them, including pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, repealing a Clean Power Plan implemented by the Obama Administration, and cutting staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

But the Trump administration’s actions weren’t enough to halt a downturn in the U.S. coal industry, as coal exports slowed and lower cost natural gas, wind and solar power increasingly replaced coal as an electrical production source. Murray Energy declared bankruptcy in October.

But the company’s ailing fortunes didn’t stop its political action committee from collecting in excess of $140,000 from more than 200 employees through biweekly payroll deductions during the second half of 2019 and giving the money to politicians whose policies favor the coal industry.

Others who received money from Murray Energy’s PAC include the Republican Governor’s Association and a Republican Super PAC called Kentucky Tomorrow, which each got $50,000, the Republican Party of Kentucky, which got $10,000, and a political committee for former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, which got $6,000.

“Given that virtually all Democrats support the elimination of coal mining in the United States, and the thousands of jobs the industry provides, and that Hillary Clinton publicly stated that she was ‘gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies outta business,’ Murray Energy Corporation had no choice but to support those politicians who have vowed to protect and defend the United States coal industry,” said a statement the company sent to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets Blog.


By:  Sabrina Eaton,


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