Trump Tries to Bail Out His Favorite Coal Baron

Written by SK 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.