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Coal company downplays role in Trump pro-coal rule

Coal company downplays role in Trump pro-coal rule
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Coal mining giant Murray Energy Corp. slammed a trio of green groups Tuesday for saying that it played a central role in the writing of a Trump administration proposal to require higher payments for coal-fired power plants.

The fiery response from the country's largest privately-held coal mining company came in response to a letter that the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice sent to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) last week.

At issue is a news story from In These Times that showed photos of Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray meeting with Energy Secretary Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryHouse panel advances bills to guard energy grid from cyberattacks The ‘victim card’ always obscures the truth Perry heads to India to promote natural gas exports MORE earlier this year.

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Murray presented Perry with a document seeking action to “require organized power markets to value fuel security, fuel diversity, and ancillary services that only base load generating assets, especially coal plants, can provide.”

But Murray Energy’s Tuesday comment filed with FERC said that did not prove that it proposed the rule.

“Murray Energy has never proffered a proposed Grid Resiliency Rule to Secretary Perry or DOE [the Department of Energy]. In fact, until DOE published the rule for comment, Murray Energy never suggested to the Secretary or DOE that the Grid Resiliency Rule be adopted,” Murray wrote.

Murray said the greens’ filing was motivated by their longtime goal to hobble the coal industry.

“It is clear what motivates the Advocacy Groups’ Supplemental Comment — their long-pursued agenda to attack Murray Energy and any national energy policy that enables coal-fired generators to continue to provide low cost, reliable, and fuel-secure electricity to the American people,” he wrote.

“These Advocacy Groups are either motivated by a contemptuous (and unfailing) disregard of the truth, or by an absurd willingness to sacrifice American prosperity and economic dominance at the altar of a failed political philosophy.”

Murray would be one of the chief beneficiaries of Perry’s proposal if FERC were to adopt it, since it supplies coal-fired power plants in the competitive electricity markets that it would apply to.