Coal company layoffs 160 workers after Obama wins

St Louis, Nov 9: A coal company headed by a Mitt Romney supporter laid off over 160 workers in response to Democrat Barack Obama's re-election as the US president. Obama defeated Republican Romney in the presidential election held on Nov 6.

Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, said that his company was forced to make the layoffs in reaction to the bleak prospects for the coal industry during Obama's second presidential stint. The CEO said in a prayer circulated by the company that the people of the USA voted "in favour of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom."

He also said that the Americans decided that the country should change its course and move away from the principals of the nation's founders.

An apprehensive Murray said pending regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the possibility of a carbon tax could lead to the complete destruction of the coal industry in another two decades.

Murray had also stopped an operation in Ohio in August and blamed White House's alleged 'war on coal' for the step. Mitt Romney also echoed Murray's concern during the campaigning for this year's election and alleged that Obama was not affected by the country's energy security.

Sources in the Obama Administration, however, said that the President was in favour of 'clean coal'. They said that more coal miners were employed in the US this year if compared to the last 15 years. They added that US coal experts also increased to 31%. The domestic coal production, however, fell roughly by 15% last year, said the National Mining Association.

Utility companies are increasingly preferring cheaper and cleaner natural gas over coal. Factors like recession and improved energy efficiency have also reduced the demand of power.

The coal industry will face a rule in three years time that will tighten the volume of mercury emitted by coal plants as well as regulations on mountain-top mining. Both will make coal production more expensive.

OneIndia News

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