Public Citizen hits Murray Energy on climate rule

The advocacy group Public Citizen launched an ad Monday targeting coal company Murray Energy for challenging health protections for miners, and the administration's climate rule.

The 60-second radio ad buy slams Murray Energy for suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the proposed standards, which require states cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

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It also hits Murray Energy for suing to stop protections against coal dust, which would mitigate cases of black lung for coal miners.

"Safety standards can reduce the dangerous coal dust that causes Black Lung," the $14,000 ad buy states. "But recently, a coal company called Murray Energy sued to stop these protections against dangerous coal dust from going into effect."

"Now Murray Energy is also suing to block new clean air standards that would protect everyone from air pollution… including children and seniors with asthma," the ad continues.

The radio ads are set to run for one week in St. Clairsville, Ohio and in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Murray Energy fired back at the ad Monday, calling them "absolutely false," and threatening to pursue legal action to "correct these absolute lies and to recover the full extent of our damages."

Murray Energy said the administration's rules on respirable dust would not reduce any incidence of coal workers' black lung, or other health problems.

"Our lawsuits against the Obama EPA merely seek to prevent the further promulgation of senseless and destructive regulations, which will destroy thousands of coal mining jobs and reliable supplies of low cost electricity in this County, which is a staple of life, with no environmental benefit," said Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent.

The ad comes as the EPA starts its public hearing campaign across the U.S. to take comment on the landmark carbon pollution rule.

Opponents of the rule including Industry and Republican lawmakers are also gearing up to attack the rule in hearings, and press conferences this week.