A CEO With A Spine
on "global doom and gloom"
By ALICIA COLON April 3, 2007, New York Sun
The New York Coal Trade Association, headquartered
in New York City, recently held its 94th annual
banquet and meeting at the New York Hilton. One of
the guest speakers was Bob Murray, founder and CEO
of Murray Energy Corporation and probably one of
the few CEOs brave enough to challenge the
militant climate control movement that threatens
the future of America's economy. In his speech, he
dared to say that he regards Al Gore as the shaman
of global doom and gloom. He is not joking when he
says, "He is more dangerous than his global
Unlike many heads of corporations who are taking
their companies on that long green mile and caving
in to the demands of environmental militants, Mr.
Murray is fighting tooth and nail for what he says
is, "the little guy that nobody cares about."
"Some wealthy elitists in our country," he told
the audience, "who cannot tell fact from fiction,
can afford an Olympian detachment from the impacts
of draconian climate change policy. For them, the
jobs and dreams destroyed as a result will be
nothing more than statistics and the cares of
other people. These consequences are abstractions
to them, but they are not to me, as I can name
many of the thousands of the American citizens
whose lives will be destroyed by these elitists'
ill-conceived ‘global goofiness' campaigns."
Mr. Murray was a coal miner in Ohio who survived
two mining accidents and built funds from a
mortgaged house into a private coal mining company
with more than 3,000 employees. He expresses
concern about the proposals in Congress that will
ration the use of coal, warning of much worse
adverse consequences to Americans than those
experienced after the 1990 amendment of the Clean
Mr. Murray told me that he had seen the effect of
the drastic reductions in coal production, and the
wrenching impact on hundreds of communities, as a
result of that legislation. In Ohio alone, from
1990 to 2005, about 118 mines were shut down,
costing more than 36,000 primary and secondary
jobs. These impacted areas have spent years
recovering, and some never will. He spoke of the
families that broke up, many lost homes, and some
were impoverished, because of legislation that the
environmentalists call a "success."
"I don't need a computer graphic like in Gore's movie, to learn about this
havoc," he told me, "I lived it and saw it
To Mr. Murray, so-called "global warming" is a
human issue, not just an environmental one. In his
speech, Murray said, "The unfolding debate over
atmospheric warming in the Congress, the news
media, and by the pundits has been skewed and
totally one-sided, in that they have been
preoccupied, speculative environmental disasters
of climate change."
Mr. Murray told me that the Democrats had tried to
stop his scheduled testimony on March 20 before
the House Energy and Mineral Resources
Subcommittee, titled "Toward a Clean Energy
Future: Energy Policy and Climate Change on Public
Lands." But after Mr. Murray was interviewed by
Bloomberg News and by the Wall Street Journal,
they relented. The chairman refused to hear his
testimony and left Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a
Democrat of Rhode Island, in charge.
In his testimony, Mr. Murray explained: " America
is dependent on our coal because it is abundant,
with some of our best deposits located on public
lands; it is affordable; and it is critical to our
energy security to protect all Americans from the
hostile and unstable governments from which much
of our country's energy is currently imported."
Right now about 52% of the country's electricity
is generated by coal. In the coastal cities we
tend to forget about that because we get most of
our electricity from oil, natural gas, and nuclear
power plants. But the farms that grow our food and
many other industries around the country can't
afford these more expensive sources of energy.
Manufacturers will outsource jobs to foreign
countries that will not subscribe to emission caps
and controls. China is building 50 new coal-fired
power plants, and Beijing has stated it will not
agree to mandatory emission constraints in the
post-2012 Kyoto treaty. Why are we being so stupid
about this issue?
The irony is that these caps and controls will do
little to affect climate. Timothy Ball, a renowned
environmental consultant, testified before the
committee that global warming is more likely to be
caused by sun spots rather than human activity.
Mr. Murray's passion for saving the "little guy"
is truly admirable. Too bad that fervor is
completely absent in Congress.