Robert E. Murray
Robert Murray was an American mining engineer and businessman. He founded and was the chief executive officer of Murray Energy, a mining corporation based in St. Clairsville, Ohio, until it filed for bankruptcy. Murray was widely criticized for his denial of climate change, and his actions following the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse. He died on October 25, 2020, at the age of 80.
About Robert E. Murray in brief
Robert Murray was an American mining engineer and businessman. He founded and was the chief executive officer of Murray Energy, a mining corporation based in St. Clairsville, Ohio, until it filed for bankruptcy. Murray was widely criticized for his denial of climate change, and his actions following the Crandall Canyon Mine collapse. He died on October 25, 2020, at the age of 80. Murray claimed to have lied about his age so he could work in a coal mine at the aged of 16 and provide for his family. He alleged he experienced multiple mining accidents including a head injury involving a large beam. He claimed he had one scar running from his head down his back from a separate accident and at one time was trapped in a dark mine for 12 hours before being rescued. Murray focussed on high-heat bituminous coal, which he thought would be in demand for power generation. The company later moved towards metallurgical coal which could be used to produce coke for steel production. He was the last major coal contributor to the United Mine Workers of America’s pension plan. Murray told the White House in a letter dated August 4, 2017, that without an emergency order to restart coal-fired electrical generating plants, his company and a major customer, power plant operator FirstEnergy Solutions, would declare bankruptcy. On July 24, 2008, the U.S. government’s top mine safety official announced its highest penalty for coal mine safety violations, USD 85,000, for the mine’s collapse. Murray himself claimed that the collapse was triggered by a natural 3.
9 magnitude earthquake and that the practice of retreat mining was not responsible. However, seismologists and government officials dispute this claim, stating that the fall was caused by the mine’s use of retreatmining. Murray Energy Holdings, Co. filed bankruptcy in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio on October 29, 2019. Murray replaced as CEO the same day, although he remained chairman of the board of the new entity, Murray NewCo, while his nephew Robert D. Moore would be president and CEO. Murray received a Bachelor of Engineering in Mining from Ohio State University. He served in a variety of capacities at NACC, winning election to vice president of operations in 1969. In 1983, Murray was president of NACC’s Western Division and presided over four of its subsidiaries in North Dakota. In 1988, Murray bought the Powhatan No. 6 mine from the Ohio Valley Coal Company. The mine was later sold to Murray Energy in 1989. Murray died on Oct 25,2020, at age 80, at his home in Ohio. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, two sons, and a stepson, and two step-grandchildren. Murray is buried in a private cemetery in Ohio, near the town of Puyallup, where he used to work as a mining engineer for the North American Coal Corporation in the 1960s and 1970s. Murray also served as a trustee and former president of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.