Remember Bob Murray? If you don’t, then I highly recommend you go back and watch this 2017 episode of John Oliver’s show in which he calls out Bob Murray, as a Trump-supporting coal boss, who pretends to be all about “protecting workers,” and who insists that the election of Donald Trump will help save coal miner jobs.
Murray then, famously, sued John Oliver and HBO in what was obviously a totally ridiculous SLAPP suit. He even tried to get a gag order on Oliver and HBO, to stop him from even talking about the lawsuit. The lawsuit did not go well for Bob Murray, though Murray took the somewhat amazing step of directly sending the judge a whiny letter about how people are being mean to him. The judge was not happy (parties in a case are certainly not supposed to be reaching out to the judges in their case directly).
But at least Murray had the Trump administration and all those coal jobs he was going to bring back to save the coal industry, right? Oh, about that. Murray Energy has just declared bankruptcy and is being handed over to investors who are loaning it money to keep the business going.
Robert E. Murray, the U.S. coal baron who pressed the Trump administration to help save America’s struggling miners, placed his company into bankruptcy as demand for the fossil fuel continues to weaken.
Murray Energy Holdings Co. filed for Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Columbus, Ohio, to restructure more than $2.7 billion of debt. The miner — the largest privately owned U.S. coal company — reached a restructuring support agreement with lenders who hold more than 60% of a $1.7 billion loan, the company said in a statement. The deal provides a new $350 million loan to keep operations going during the reorganization.
Of course, this shows yet another way in which Oliver’s story about coal jobs was largely true: in that he noted that the decline in coal jobs in the US was a long, ongoing process, having little to do with any particular presidential administration, but the natural end result of a shift in energy sources, combined with new mining techniques and efficiencies.
Perhaps rather than suing his critics (he sued a number of other news organizations as well) and running fundraisers for Trump or appearing on TV as a Trump supporter, Murray should have been focused on actually helping his company and its employees adapt for the future?
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