By Morgan Gstatler
December 1, 2018 - A major coal executive on Thursday expressed doubt about President Trump’s campaign pledge to save the coal industry.
Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, said in an interview with Axios that he was disappointed nothing has happened related to Trump’s promise to financially support coal plants.
“I don’t know if it’s going to happen,” Murray said. “I don’t know. It’s the government. They are still studying that.”
Earlier this year, Trump formally asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to find ways to save uneconomic coal and nuclear plants from closing.
The Trump administration has also rolled back many Obama-era environmental policies in an effort to help coal plants' economic viability.
The White House has since reportedly shelved a proposed effort to prop up plants due largely to the likelihood that it would raise energy prices.
Murray told Axios that increased exports and international demand have been their industry's saving grace this year.
His exports have jumped from 6 percent of his production last year to 30 percent this year.
“That’s the only thing that’s saved a lot of us in the coal industry,” Murray said.
One of Trump’s vows during his 2016 presidential campaign was to support the coal industry and bring back jobs for miners, frequently denouncing what he deems a “war on coal.”
The state of Kentucky, however, hasn’t seen a significant jump in coal jobs since Trump took office.
About 6,550 employees were working in the coal sector when Trump was sworn into office in January 2017. But a Kentucky Coal Quarterly report estimated the average employment between July and September 2018 was 6,381 coal jobs in the state.