Coal giant Murray Energy seeks bankruptcy protection

Published: Oct. 29, 2019 at 11:51 AM EDT
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Update: 10/29/2019 7:00 P.M.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is among members of Congress who are concerned the announced bankruptcy filing by Murray Energy could complicate efforts by Congress for the past three years to extend miners' benefits.

That's because bankruptcy filings by Murray and other coal manufacturers could mean pensions could run out sooner than expected.

<"this throws every one of our miners into a flux situation to where it advances rapidly they're going run out their pensions or be cut drastically. at first, we thought would 2022, and were working drastically urgently get that accomplished. now, it's next year."> Manchin and other Democrats say Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell has delayed bringing the pension bill to a vote. It has bi-partisan support. He introduced a measure changing current bankruptcy laws to increase the priority of workers during bankruptcy proceedings.
10/29/2019 Ohio-based Murray Energy, a major U.S. coal-mining company, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. Former CEO Robert Murray said the move was necessary to access liquidity and best position the company for long-term success. Many coal companies are struggling as communities have switched from the fossil fuel to less-polluting renewable energy or natural gas. Several other major coal producers have sought bankruptcy protection this year, including Blackjewel Mining in West Virginia and Cloud Peak Energy in Wyoming. Robert Murray is a major backer of President Donald Trump, who has made saving coal jobs a key part of his campaign. Murray hosted a fundraiser for Trump in July, which had been expected to raise $2.5 million. The company also announced Tuesday that Robert Moore will replace Murray as CEO.