Murray Energy CEO: The president is grossly wrong

Reaction to Obama's comments on climate change


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 26, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Folks will tell you climate change is a hoax or a fad or a plot. It's a liberal plot.


ROBERT MURRAY, CEO, MURRAY ENERGY: I am scared to death for our country. What he is doing is destroying the most reliable, lowest-cost power grid that the world has ever seen.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: The mock and the shock, the president vs. the power CEO. And while the chief executive is knocking client change deniers, the corporate chief executive is delivering a stark warning for everybody else.

He is back. He's angry. He has got numbers.

Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.

And there is no denying the administration's new regulations on power plants are going to cost us all more. Even the president knows it.


OBAMA: People don't like gas prices going up. They don't like electricity prices going up. And we ignore those very real and legitimate concerns at our peril.


CAVUTO: To the guy who says, there's the cost peril that we're missing here. He runs coal giant Murray Energy. Robert Murray says it's the president's policies that are creating this peril.

Very good to have you, Bob.

What did you think of what the president was saying, that to deny climate change, you're just out to lunch, and to ignore the costs of fixing it, you're kind of doubly out to lunch? What do you think?

MURRAY: The president, Neil, is grossly wrong.

It's incompetence. It's evil. It's a power grab of America's electric power grid is what he is doing. And electric rates are going to double between now and 2017. The PJM interconnection that represents 61 million Americans in 16 states had their auction this month, and the utilities themselves bid the price of electricity up double in '17 and '18 over what Americans are already paying for their electricity.


CAVUTO: So, Bob, I just want to be clear here. You're saying when the president talks about maybe utility bills and all going up 30 percent -- he hasn't said that -- but the White House says that's a possibility

You're saying, no, no, no, it's going to go up a lot more than that. Why do you say that? What's going to change at the EPA that will justify that kind of a hike?

MURRAY: They're shutting down 411 coal-fired power plants in America, Neil. That's about 100,000 megawatts of 4-cent-a-kilowatt-hour electricity.

The wind and solar that President Obama and the Democrats in the Senate espouse is 22-cents-a-kilowatt-hour, five times more costly, and it wouldn't even exist, except it gets a subsidy from the taxpayer. He is driving this country from a reliable, low-cost power grid to enormous electric power costs for absolutely no environmental benefit whatsoever.

CAVUTO: Well, why do you think he has it out for the coal industry? Why do you think he seems to have it out for you?

MURRAY: He's appeasing the radicals who got him elected, liberal elitists such as Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, who gave him $50 million to get rid of coal, Tom Steyer, $100 million in California, most all the Hollywood characters, radical environmentalists, radical unionists in some cases.


MURRAY: They got him elect.

CAVUTO: I'm sorry, sir.

MURRAY: And he is picking winners and losers in this country.

CAVUTO: Right.

MURRAY: But what he's also doing, Neil, is he is picking winners and losers among the states.

This power grab of the power grid bypasses the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It bypasses the states, which each state has a utility commission to regulate their electricity and control the price of it.

CAVUTO: Does it bother you, then, Bob, that George Shultz, a former top Nixon, Reagan, Ford Cabinet member has no problem with it? Hank Paulson, the former treasury secretary, has no problem with it. They're worried about climate change. They're worried that if we don't do something now to take out an insurance policy, we will regret it.

The president has included them in a task force to look at this and the problems that are mounting, including Michael Bloomberg, who you just mentioned. Do you feel like in that company you're an odd man out?

MURRAY: No, I'm not an odd man out.

I'm in the mainstream of the scientific facts. If he shut down every coal- fired power plant in America, it would affect the amount of carbon dioxide one-twentieth of 1 percent. China is going to burn 4,300,000,000 tons of coal this year. He has knocked the United States coal industry down from 1.2 billion to 800,000.

They're going to burn five times as much. Which way does the wind blow, which way does the Earth spin? It has nothing to do with the environment, sir. It has to do with power. It has to do with getting power over the grid.

When he says sky -- electric rates would skyrocket, he meant it. He's carrying it out. How would you want to get control of America the most? Do it through the electric power availability, rationing it and the cost of electricity. That is what is happening.

I'm afraid to death for America. And the people in this country had better be, because the people on fixed incomes -- and I grew up poor -- are going to be hurt the worst.

CAVUTO: You know, Bob, they're -- the last time you were with us and you were talking about how you have been a controversial fellow over the years -- you have not made your -- your concern about the president's policies or the president himself a secret from anyone.

And many have e-mailed me something like this: Bob should have just shut his mouth early and he wouldn't be the target he is now. Still, another said, Murray's biggest problem is that he speaks his fine mind, but he speaks it too often.

Do you have any regret for sort of coming out the gate, raising hackles and concerns about this president and his energy policies? Did you think then and now appreciate that you might have made yourself a target?

MURRAY: I am their target. They have done a number of things to keep me from speaking out, because I care about America. I cherish this country.


CAVUTO: When you say they have done things, what have they done?

MURRAY: Not -- not -- not just the country as a whole, but also my employee.

It's a human issue to me. Their lives are being destroyed for no environmental benefit whatsoever. Yes, they have pushed back on me and they are going to continue to do it. But I'm an old man. And I care about my employees. I care about this country, and I'm going to continue to speak out because this man is destroying America in so many ways.

And electric power is a staple of life. We must have reliable low-cost electric power, and he is destroying is, as he said he would do, and he has to be stopped. But so does every Democrat in the United States Senate, because they all support him.

CAVUTO: Where does this go, Bob? I mean, there were critics of yours who came out and said, no one is out to destroy the coal industry. We're out to clean it up, and Bob would appreciate that. His grandkids would appreciate that, their kids would appreciate that. So, Bob is a stick in the mud who doesn't appreciate that. What do you say to that?

MURRAY: You ask where it goes, Neil?

Where it goes is, I have four lawsuits filed against the federal EPA and the Obama administration. Just this past Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that they had overreached on this tailoring rule. They took the Clean Air Act and when they saw in the law, the Obama administration, that they couldn't put these regulations on, they twisted the law to come up with words like tailoring rule, which the Supreme Court threw out Monday.

This is where it's got to end. The problem is that the courts are so slow in this country in acting that 411 coal-fired power plants, fourth megawatt plants -- 4-cent-a-kilowatt-mega plants are going to be closed between now and the time the courts will act.

But that's our only recourse, is to take legal action and try to stop this insanity. The utilities are saying that it's overreach, that it's inoperable. We can't achieve it. The grid just bid the prices of the utilities themselves double. Just happened.

We have to listen to these people, not to a politician that's trying to pay back those who got him elected. And that goes for every senator that is a Democrat as well. They're just as evil.

CAVUTO: Do you think, though, that Washington, that spends a great deal of time filing lawsuits, back and forth, you have just said that, in the other case, it would take years. What can you recommend doing now?

MURRAY: The only thing we can do is, I pray, I pray every day that this man's incompetence will be overcome, that his evil agenda will be overcome, and that the senators, Democrats in the Senate, stop supporting him. It's a radical agenda. He's destroying America.

CAVUTO: But what do say, Bob, to... (CROSSTALK)

MURRAY: And the best way to do it is destroy reliable low-cost electricity. And he's doing it, sir.

CAVUTO: OK, but, Bob, what do say then? It's not just Democrats, Bob, as you know. A number of Republicans are on board with this as well and big believers that climate change is a worry. I mentioned George Shultz. I mentioned Hank Paulson. There are a number of others who similarly fear. What do you say about them?

MURRAY: There are very few Republicans -- I'm an engineer.


MURRAY: I have studied the climate change science for decades.

I don't profess to be an expert. But I know who they are. This global warming is a hoax. Twenty years ago, it was acid rain. Today, it's a hoax to try to get control over the economy, to try to get control over this country. And the easiest way to do it is the electric power grid and the cost of it.

CAVUTO: All right.

MURRAY: That's their agenda.

CAVUTO: Bob Murray, you always speak your mind. I appreciate that.

And you're quite right. It was 40 years ago there were TIME and Newsweek covers bemoaning a global freeze. We were all going to be shivering. That was then. This is now.

Bob Murray, thank you again.

MURRAY: Thank you, Neil.

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