Coal Baron Hosts Perry Party


Coal executive Robert Murray is hosting a fundraiser on Thursday night for the climate deniers’ favorite GOP presidential candidate, Rick Perry. Murray is the CEO of the Ohio-based Murray Energy Corporation and will be hosting the event at the White Palace Ballroom of Wheeling, West Virginia.

It’s not hard to see why Perry and Murray would like each other. Both Murray and Perry are both vocal (and often colorful) climate change deniers. Murray called global warming an “elitists’ ill-conceived ‘global goofiness’ campaigns” in a 2007 speech to the New York Coal Trade Association. Murray also used a horrific collapse at a Utah mine that his company owned as yet another occasion to rail against attempts to regulate global warming.

Murray has personally lobbied against coal ash and air quality rules. Via the Washington Post, here’s what Murray wrote to Congress about EPA Clean Air Act rules earlier this year:

“Jobs and lives are being destroyed by Mr. Obama and his out-of-control, radical U.S. EPA and his appointees to it,” chairman and chief executive Robert E. Murray wrote. He concluded: “America, our industry and jobs, are under siege by Mr. Obama and his U.S. EPA.”

Meanwhile, Murray’s company has had at least seven coal slurry spills in the past decade from a single site. The company also wracked up 7,747 “significant” health and safety violations at their mines between 2000 and 2009, totaling more than $18 million in fines.

As Politico reported earlier this month, Murray is asking for contributions of $2,500 per guest for Perry’s campaign chest.

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  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.