Robert Murray of Murray Energy made a visit to West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
He said his message was the absolute necessity of reducing the severance tax on thermal coal — that’s power plant coal — in West Virginia.
The tax is five percent of the sales price, and Murray says not only is it a burden, but it is simply unfair.
“As a result, many West Virginians have lost their jobs. Coal from West Virginia can’t compete with coal from other states,” Murray said. “See, no other state has a severance tax on coal as high as West Virginia’s. And only one other state, Kentucky, has a tax. The rest of them have virtually nothing.”
He said under his proposal, there will be no loss of revenue to the counties — the counties will still get their share. According to Murray, last year, Murray Energy paid $138 million to the state of West Virginia.
Murray declined to say what Governor Justice’s reaction was… to his request.