US Coal

Tennessee Valley Authorityclosed Paradise#3 plant, customer of FirstEnergy, 2 remaining

Freedom Industries, J. Clifford Forrest

Elliot Management, Paul Singer $2.5 billion FirstEnergy Bailout

Murray Energy, FirstEnergyBob MurrayJavelin Commodities “Javelin was founded in 2015 as a joint venture between Murray Energy Corporation (“Murray Energy”), one of the largest coal producers in the United States, Uniper (formerly E.ON SE), one of the largest investor owned power and gas companies in Europe, and a management team consisting of industry leading marketing, trading and operations professionals.”

Deceased Chris “Cline founded Foresight Energy in 2006 as a joint venture with Murray Energy Corp. to develop and operate the company’s Illinois mining assets.” Miami Herald

Trump Inaugural Drew Big Dollars From Donors With Vested Interests The New York Times By Nicholas Confessore, Nicholas Fandos and Rachel Shorey April 19, 2017 “Documents released this weekby Mr. Trump’s inaugural organizers provide a glimpse of the big-dollar frenzy of influence-seeking and peacemaking surrounding Mr. Trump’s swearing-in, which raised $107 million, twice as much money as any other inauguration. At least $10 million — about one out of every $10 raised — came from coal, oil, and gas companies or their executives. They are the chief beneficiaries of Mr. Trump’s aggressive efforts to weaken federal rules aimed at limiting pollution in streams and wetlands, cutting back on greenhouse gases and closing coal-burning power plants.  The inauguration received $500,000 from Citgo Petroleum, a Houston-based United States affiliate of Venezuela’s state oil company. The country’s biggest cable and wireless companies, Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, donated more than $2 million combined.

A $900,000 donation came in December from Avenue Ventures, a California-based boutique money management firm founded by the entrepreneur Imaad Zuberi. Mr. Zuberi was a top fund-raiser for President Barack Obama and for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Zuberi was also paid millions of dollars to work in Washington on behalf of the scandal-plagued government of Sri Lanka and its central bank, work he did not initially disclose to the Justice Department as required by federal law, according to a report in Foreign Policy magazine.”

Money Talked Loudest at Donald Trump’s Inaugural New York Times Editorial Board April 24, 2017 “Bob Murray, one of the coal industry’s loudest voices, spent $300,000 on President Trump’s inauguration and got a lot more than good seats. Mr. Murray — whose Murray Energy is a serial violator of federal health and safety rules — demanded that Mr. Trump gut regulatory oversight and pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement in his first three months.

“I’m not a patient man,” warned Mr. Murray, who earned infamy when he falsely insisted that the 2007 collapse of his Crandall Canyon mine, which killed six miners, was due to an earthquake, not dodgy mining practices. “I’m going to be watching that things happen as fast as they can.”

They did. After Mr. Trump’s inauguration Mr. Murray, his son Ryan and Kevin Hughes, Murray Energy’s general manager, stood beaming in the White House as Mr. Trump signed a law killing a rule banning coal mining waste from waterways.

Mr. Murray’s contribution was puny compared with the $1 million apiece from other coal industry giants, including J. Clifford Forrest, who owned Freedom Industries, the company charged with leaking a coal-processing chemical into a river in Charleston, W.Va., poisoning the water supply for thousands of residents.”

An American energy plan straight from coal country Robert E. Murray, right, chief executive and founder of Murray Energy, presented an “action plan” to Energy Secretary Rick Perry in a meeting March 29 The Washington Post By Steven Mufson December 8, 2017 “

Energy Secretary Rick Perry had been in office less than four weeks when he took a meeting from a coal magnate who had an urgent request.

Robert E. Murray, founder of Murray Energy and a major Trump supporter, presented a four-page “action plan” to rescue the coal industry. The plan said that commissioners at three independent regulatory agencies “must be replaced,” Environmental Protection Agency staff slashed, and safety and pollution rules “overturn[ed],” according to photos and documents seen by The Washington Post.

The March 29 meeting was part of an aggressive lobbying campaign to make sure that President Trump would deliver on his campaign promise to prop up the coal industry and tear down its regulatory foes. And a central aim of Murray’s lobbying was to get the new administration to change the rules of the electricity grid to help a floundering utility, FirstEnergy, that was one of the chief buyers of coal from Murray Energy’s mines.

Eight months later, Perry is pushing a plan that would deliver new subsidies to a handful of coal and nuclear companies and keep open decrepit half-century old plants just as Murray had hoped — all in the name of improving the reliability and security of the electrical grid. “You can wrap this Christmas present in whatever paper you want, but it’s still cash for cronies,” Nora Brownell, a consultant and former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member appointed by President George W. Bush.”

How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List Robert E. Murray, chief executive of the largest coal mining company in the United States, at a Clean Power Plan hearing in Charleston, W.Va., in November. The New York Times By Lisa Friedman January 9, 2018 “

The memo was written by Robert E. Murray, a longtime Trump supporter who donated $300,000 to the president’s inauguration. In it, Mr. Murray, the head of Murray Energy, presented Mr. Trump with a wish list of environmental rollbacks just weeks after the inauguration.

Murray Energy’s ‘Action Plan’ for the Trump Administration Robert E. Murray’s wish list of environmental rollbacks reads like a playbook for the Trump administration.

Nearly a year later, the White House and federal agencies have completed or are on track to fulfill most of the 16 detailed requests, even with Monday’s decision by federal regulators to reject a proposal by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize struggling coal and nuclear plants.

The March 1 memo, which was obtained by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and shared with The New York Times, is addressed to Vice President Mike Pence.”

A Coal Giant Gave $1 Million to Donald Trump’s Super PAC As It Sought Help From Trump Robert Murray needed the government’s help. So he wrote a massive check. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Daily Beast Lachlan Markay Updated January 24, 2018 “Murray Energy donated $1 million to America First Action on August 8, according to newly released Federal Election Commission records. That was four days after its CEO, Robert Murray, personally appealed to the White House to prop up a struggling utility that buys coal from his company. The administration ultimately did not intervene.

And at the time of Murray Energy’s donation, utility FirstEnergy, one of its biggest coal customers, was “on the verge of bankruptcy,” Murray told the White House in an August 4 letter. If the administration didn’t issue an emergency order keeping its power plants open, Murray Energy would soon suffer the same fate, the letter said. “Their bankruptcy will force Murray Energy Corporation into immediate bankruptcy, promptly terminating our 6,500 coal mining jobs,” he wrote.

Two weeks after that letter, and ten days after its America First contribution, Murray wrote to Energy Secretary Rick Perry. He estimated that a failure to prop up FirstEnergy would cost his company more than $4 billion. In fact, he said, “no other viable alternative…will stop the certain collapse of much of the thermal coal industry.”

The Trump administration rebuked the company, and declined to issue the order that Murray sought. But Murray ended up finding a lifeline elsewhere. This week, FirstEnergy announced a “transformational” $2.5 billion investment from Elliot Management, the hedge fund run by Republican megadonor Paul Singer.

Trump Tweeted an intervention directing the Department of Energy to direct its resources to Bob Murray by propping up Paradise #3 in the Tennessee Valley Authority which gets its coal from Murray.

Tennessee Valley Authority provides energy to Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky

Trump intervenes in support of coal plant owned by major donor MSNBC Maddow Blog February 12, 2019 Steve Benen

Trump Tweet Fails To Save Kentucky Coal-Fired Power Plant NPR Despite pressure from President Trump, the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors voted Thursday to close a large coal-fired power plant. Trump’s involvement had drawn criticism because the Paradise Fossil Plant in western Kentucky buys coal from a company headed by a large donor to the president’s campaign, Murray Energy Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Robert Murray.”

What do billionaire Charles Koch, Sierra Club, and API have in common? World Oil By JIM EFSTATHIOU JR.  May 23, 2019 “The Sierra Club, the American Petroleum Institute and billionaire Charles Koch have found at least one thing to agree on: they hate Ohio’s plan to take away renewable power subsidies and give them to coal and nuclear plants. The groups, normally at odds over energy issues, have all found elements to rail against in the “Ohio Clean Air Program.” The Republican proposal would scuttle wind and solar quotas and establish a $190 million annual fund, primarily to bail out two reactors owned by bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions Corp.”

Chris Cline, American Billionaire, Among 7 Killed In Bahamas Helicopter Crash : NPR top GOP Donor Coal July 5, 2019 Amy Held “Chris Cline, a billionaire who made his fortune in the American coal business, died Thursday in a helicopter crash in the Bahamas that killed all seven people onboard. Cline, 60, and his daughter, Kameron, were both on the aircraft when it went down, Cline’s attorney said. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice tweeted late Thursday that ‘I lost a very close friend.'” NPR

‘Generous’ West Virginia coal billionaire dies in helicopter crash. Bevin ‘heartbroken.’ ASSOCIATED PRESS JULY 05, 2019 Gov. Matt Bevin tweeted a link to this article:

Billionaire West Virginia coal operator and philanthropist Chris Cline dies in helicopter crash WV Metro News   July 04, 2019

which stated “ABC News reported the helicopter, which was owned by Cline’s Challenger Management company. Cline anticipated renewed interest in high sulfur, high Btu coal and formed Foresight Energy LLC in 2006. On June 23, 2014, Foresight Energy LP completed an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Starting in April, 2015, Murray Energy acquired a economic interest in Foresight. After that, Cline was focusing on coal opportunities in Canada.

Cline’s wealth also led to a celebrity lifestyle. For a time, Cline dated model Elin Nordegren, the ex-wife of Tiger Woods. He owned the 205-foot luxury yacht Mine Games, with five staterooms and ts own submarine. He also had a 33,413-square-foot mansion in North Palm Beach, Florida. His 150-acre property in Beckley featured a lake, a go-kart track and pastures for his horses, goats and llamas.

On August 20, 2012, aspiring actor Vivek Shah was arrested for the attempted extortion of ClineHarvey Weinstein, and three others.WV Metro News

Who was billionaire Chris Cline, who died in the Bahamas copter crash? He had Florida ties Miami Herald BY HOWARD COHEN AND DAVID SMILEY JULY 05, 2019 “Cline, who would have turned 61 on Friday, had a home in Seminole Landing between North Palm Beach and Juno Beach, according to The Palm Beach Post. Cline was a regular GOP donor, contributing $1.3 million to federal campaigns during the 2016 elections. Federal Election Commission records show he gave $500,000 in 2015 to a Super PAC supporting Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign, and later $400,000 to Trump Victory. Last year, Cline contributed $25,000 to the West Virginia Victory Fund, another $25,000 to help the U.S. Senate campaign of West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey and $10,000 to Congressman Brian Mast. In 2015, he donated $1 million to a super PAC that supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s unsuccessful presidential campaign, according to Bloomberg News. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice tweeted that Cline was a West Virginia “superstar” and that “Chris Cline built an empire and on every occasion was always there to give. What a wonderful, loving, and giving man.”Miami Herald