The Washington Post is reporting that the chairman and chief executive officer of Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy, Robert E. Murray, has laid off 156 workers, citing as the cause the re-election of President Obama. Murray prefaced his lay-off announcement by reading a prayer to staffers less than 24 hours after the election.
Murray laid off 54 people at American Coal, one of his subsidiary companies, and 102 at Utah American Energy. He cited Obama’s putative “war on coal” as the principal reason for his actions.
Murray Energy is the largest coal mining company in the United States. It employess roughly 3,000 people and produces 30 million tons of bituminous coal every year.
An article in the New Republic reported that the company required its workers to attend a Romney campaign speech in southeastern Ohio in August. The New Republic also said that Murray Energy employees have contributed over $1.4 million to Republican candidates since 2007.
Neither Murray nor his company are strangers to controversy. He’s been a favorite target of environmentalists because Murray Energy has spilled (or dumped) coal slurry into a creek on seven occasions.
Murray’s prayer before his lay-off announcement is the definition of self-serving. I reproduce it in its entirety below.
“The American people have made their choice. They have decided that America must change its course, away from the principals of our Founders. And, away from the idea of individual freedom and individual responsibility. Away from capitalism, economic responsibility, and personal acceptance.
“We are a Country in favor of redistribution, national weakness and reduced standard of living and lower and lower levels of personal freedom.
“My regret, Lord, is that our young people, including those in my own family, never will know what America was like or might have been. They will pay the price in their reduced standard of living and, most especially, reduced freedom.
“The takers outvoted the producers. In response to this, I have turned to my Bible and in II Peter, Chapter 1, verses 4-9 it says, ‘To faith we are to add goodness; to goodness, knowledge; to knowledge, self control; to self control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, kindness; to brotherly kindness, love.’
“Lord, please forgive me and anyone with me in Murray Energy Corp. for the decisions that we are now forced to make to preserve the very existence of any of the enterprises that you have helped us build. We ask for your guidance in this drastic time with the drastic decisions that will be made to have any hope of our survival as an American business enterprise.
Notice that this “prayer” hits all of the talking points of not just the now defunct Romney campaign, but so-called “conservative” ideology.
The lay-offs will take effect just before Christmas – naturally.
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