OVJA Exposed as Front for Murray Energy Blocking Gas-Fired Plants

Enough is enough. It’s time to name names and put an end to blocking new gas-fired electric plants planned in West Virginia. WV has a long, proud history as a coal producer. According to West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney, some 95% of the electricity produced and used in the Mountain State comes from coal-fired plants. However, natural gas burns cleaner than coal, and frankly, natgas is now cheaper than coal. Yet WV still has not permitted or allowed a single new gas-fired plant to be constructed. Last year then-WV Sec. of Commerce Woody Thrasher observed that Ohio has built 19 new gas-fired power plants, and Pennsylvania has built 22 new gas-fired power plants, while WV has built NONE. Why not? Because of Robert Murray, CEO and founder of Murray Energy, one of the largest independent coal mine operators in the U.S. Bob Murray is using a front organization called Ohio Valley Jobs Alliance (OVJA) to file a blizzard of frivolous lawsuits that have kept all new gas-fired plant projects from being built in WV. Drew Dorn, Director of ESC Harrison County Power and President of Energy Solutions Consortium (the company that has filed to build several new gas-fired plants in WV), points out Murray’s hypocrisy on the shale issue, by saying: “Murray Energy is trying to kill thousands of jobs on these projects. Murray Energy has made huge amounts of money off of natural gas in rights-of-way and other means, but when it comes to West Virginia natural gas making electricity, the company is trying to achieve through the courts what it could not through the marketplace.” The gloves are now off and it’s time to fight back–to get gas-fired plants built in WV. It’s time to “out” Bob Murray for the obstructionist he has become, and to expose him for the economic damage he’s causing…

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