Murray Energy Continues to Block Gas-Fired Plants in WV

In July MDN said it’s time to reveal who is blocking new gas-fired electric plants in West Virginia (see OVJA Exposed as Front for Murray Energy Blocking Gas-Fired Plants). WV has a long, proud history as a coal producer. According to West Virginia Coal Association, 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. Three such plants have been on the books, planned, for years. The first plant may begin construction this year (see WV Close to Starting Construction on First Natgas-Fired Plant). That is, it will start construction if the project sponsors can beat back yet another challenge by the Murray-backed OVJA to the issuance of an air permit. The thing that frosts us is that Murray Energy continues to deny that it is the one funding/behind OVJA…

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