Coal CEO Prays For Deliverance from Obama, Fires Workers

The coal industry has its own corrupt practices to blame.

Wigwam Jones/Flickr

The day after Barack Obama won his re-election bid, the chief executive of Murray Energy, Robert E. Murray, gathered his staff and began to read a prayer. He asked God to forgive America for its choice of president, and he prayed for “guidance in this drastic time with the drastic decisions that will be made to have any hope of our survival as an American business enterprise.” He closed with a heartfelt “amen.”

Then he fired 156 people.

Murray explained that the layoffs were inevitable in light of Obama’s re-election. He’s not the only coal baron to cite the president as the cause of the industry’s supposed death knell. CONSOL Energy Inc. President Nicholas Deluliis blamed Obama for 145 planned layoffs, while Alpha Natural Resources CEO Kevin Crutchfield cited the Obama-created “regulatory environment” as the basis for 1,200 job cuts this fall. Other coal executives poured millions into (ultimately ineffective) anti-Obama super PACs. The Romney campaign itself tried to stoke anger against the administration to win over voters in coal-rich Ohio, echoing the coal CEOs’ invectives against Obama and his environmental regulation.

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