This morning's Intelligencer reports:
Murray Energy CEO Robert E. Murray said paying $7.6 million in West Virginia severance taxes on New Year's Eve forced him to lay off 674 coal miners, so he's urging lawmakers to slash rates by more than half to "save what is left of its coal industry and jobs."
The "demand," as the Intelligencer described it, was part of a speech given yesterday to the West Virginia Coal Association's Mining Symposium in Charleston. In the speech, Murray blamed the president and others for bankrupting coal:
"President Obama said that he would bankrupt coal. He, his political supporters, radical environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club and Easter Seals, and liberal elitists, such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have made good on this."
The Easter Seals is a radical environmental group? (Who knew?) Intelligencer reporter Casey Junkins asked Gary Broadbent to explain:
When asked why Murray referred to the Easter Seals as a "radical environmental group," Murray spokesman Gary Broadbent cited a July 2011 letter mailed to the Environmental Protection Agency asking its officials for more strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act that lists Easter Seals as one of over 200 signatories. Other groups listed numerous state chapters of the American Lung Association, the League of Conservation Voters, the Crabshell Alliance and the Washington Asthma Initiative.
That's quite a crew of radical organizations!
In case you were wondering about the ominous-sounding Crabshell Alliance, their website tells us that it is:
a grassroots organization based in the Baltimore Area in the state of Maryland that promotes the use of safe, clean, and sustainable energy. We actively oppose the use of nuclear power and work to raise awareness of the dangers of nuclear waste.