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Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 16059
Location: Berkeley, California

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:08 pm    Post subject: Coal Reply with quote

Of course Trump ran, promising to restore coal to glory and miners to full employment. It was actually the efforts of Dick Cheney to ease the path for fracking that killed coal, but Trump trades in lies. Murray Coal has been one of the dirtiest of the dirty, and as it heads for bankruptcy, I guess it is no surprise that executives have looted the company. Here from S and P Global:

Self-dealing, abuse of corporate resources claims

Murray Energy's latest disclosure statement includes details of an investigation into potential claims and causes of action previously alluded to by unsecured creditors. The creditors reviewed and analyzed board materials, financial information, emails, flight logs, compensation materials and reimbursements records dating between 2016 and 2019.

"This investigation revealed what the unsecured creditors' committee believes is a disturbing pattern of self-dealing and abuse of corporate resources by the Murray insiders, which was known to and sanctioned by Mr. Murray, Mr. Moore, and the other members of the debtors' board of directors," the creditors wrote.

In a response, Murray said creditors did not interview him and he "vehemently rejects the baseless and concocted allegations." Murray is "very disappointed that the unsecured creditors' committee is advocating for litigation to pursue what he knows are flagrant and wholly-unsubstantiated claims," the statement said.

The creditors claimed they identified evidence that Murray Energy was insolvent during all or a portion of the investigation period. At the same time, they said the company paid cash compensation to Murray and Moore above market value based on a peer analysis of the company's coal mining peers. The two executives received over $100.4 million more than the average senior officer across a set of U.S. coal mining peers from 2016 to 2019, the creditors wrote.

Murray and Moore collected cash bonuses totaling $24 million and $13 million, respectively, during 2017 and 2018. During those periods, the company's earnings were declining and flat, respectively.

However, Murray wrote that other companies had many times the number of executives to handle the workload Moore and himself handled effectively. He found it "troubling" that the committee had a "blatant disregard" for his "second to none" work ethic and contribution to the company and the entire coal industry.

Dated, from 2015, but it shows that it is cheaper to contribute to Republican legislators than protect public health:

The coal mining industry provides the biggest source of campaign dollars within the mining industry, and has supported Republicans in each of the past 13 election cycles.

In the 2012 cycle, the industry peaked with $15.3 million in total contributions. That figure decreased to $11 million in the 2014 nonpresidential election. Companies involved in coal mining gave Democrats a mere 4 percent of their donations in this election cycle, an unprecedented low.

Not surprisingly, most of the industry's money comes from Kentucky and West Virginia, its traditional home. Top contributors include Alliance Resource Partners, L.P.-- one of the largest coal producers in the United States -- which gave $4.8 million in 2014. Murray Energy Corp. -- the largest underground mining company in America - was also a big donor with a $1.4 million total. Both companies have been at the top of the contributor list since 2008.

Some industry favorites include Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio); Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who hails from Kentucky and sits on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; and West Virginia's Rep. Shelley Moore Capito who plays a role in the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment.

Indeed, environmental issues are a huge headache for the mining industry as coal is the biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions that are a primary cause of climate change. In mid-2015, the Obama administration is expected to finalize new rules limiting carbon emissions from new and existing power plants; that will be a major blow for coal, which is still the single biggest source of power in the U.S., and the mining industry has lobbied Congress to try to stop the rules from taking effect. McConnell and other Republicans have claimed that Obama and others who want to limit CO2 emissions are waging a "war on coal."

In case there is any doubt about how fully McConnell backs coal against public health:

OCTOBER 20, 2006 12:08 PM, UPDATED MARCH 12, 2013 12:26 PM
WASHINGTON -- Millionaire coal magnate Bob Murray knew the name to drop in September 2002, when Mine Safety Health Administration inspectors confronted him about safety problems at his mines: Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Murray, a large man with a fierce temper, is a huge donor to Republican senators. McConnell, R-Ky., rose through the ranks by raising money for those senators. And McConnell is married to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, whose agency oversees MSHA.

Shouting at a table full of MSHA officials at their district office in Morgantown, W.Va., Murray said: "Mitch McConnell calls me one of the five finest men in America, and the last I checked, he was sleeping with your boss," according to notes of the meeting. "They," Murray added, pointing at two MSHA men, "are gone."

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Joined: 25 Apr 2000
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
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