Trump Tries to Bail Out His Favorite Coal Baron

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

A nearly 50-year-old coal-fired power plant in western Kentucky is scheduled to shut down in the near future because operating it is too expensive and there are better options available, but it won't be shut down if Trump gets his way.

Trump is calling on the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to keep the plant running, but why would Trump take such an interest in one specific power plant?

It may be because the plant is supplied by Murray Energy, the coal company owned and operated by CEO Bob Murray who you may know as a serial liar and a fraud who has repeatedly screwed his own employees.

[Trump's] missive came just days before the TVA board is slated to vote on the future of Paradise Unit 3, a 49-year-old coal plant that the federally owned utility has said would be too expensive to keep operating.

The 1,150-megawatt plant gets the bulk of its coal from a subsidiary of Murray Energy, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Robert Murray, the CEO of the mining company, is a major Trump supporter who has personally lobbied the president to take other actions to help the ailing coal industry, particularly in regions where he sells coal.

The TVA is currently governed by 3 Obama appointees and 4 Trump appointees, so it's possible the board will vote to keep the power plant running, but it's not guaranteed.

Voting to keep it running would mean voting to keep it running for political reasons while ignoring the economic reasons to close it. It would be a vote against basic economics.

  • Christopher Foxx

    It would be a vote against basic economics.

    In other words, exactly in line with the Republican platform.

  • katanahamon

    Isn’t this the same guy directly responsible for the deaths of coal miners? So gross…

  • Draxiar

    Anyone else think that when Bob Murray dies it should be from choking on coal ash? Not from foul play, mind you, but from his own defiance of safety regulations.

  • gescove

    Corruption in plain sight and the R’s don’t give a damn.

    • Christopher Foxx

      When have they ever?

  • muselet

    TVA has said it wants to close the plant because of “flat to declining“ load, low natural gas prices, expected high maintenance and regulatory compliance costs and “poor generation portfolio fit,” among other reasons.

    But hey, none of that matters when put up against the livelihood of a reliable R donor, right?


    • katanahamon

      Regs allow companies that drill for oil in Tx to just “flare off” and simply burn up all the natural gas in a well if that isn’t what they’re drilling for. Happened on my bro in law’s property. Then they didn’t get any money from the oil either..at least it contributed to CO2 production…