Murray Energy CEO: Administration 'lying to American people'

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 31, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where do they think their electricity comes from? You and I know it's our hardworking West Virginia coal miners that power America.

I have fought to protect our coal jobs right alongside Joe Manchin. And I will stand up to leaders of both parties who threaten our way of life. I will make sure President Obama gets the message.


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, now we expect to hear that message from Republicans, but a Democrat?

To Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray, who says it's time that the rest of the nation wakes up as well.

Bob, good to have you. Now, you have been bemoaning these tighter standards and rules and regulations out of the EPA. You said that it hurts the coal industry and, by extension, it's going to hurt a lot of Americans with their utility bills, since a lot of them are pegged to coal.

The administration tells me when they watch the show, Murray is way overstating it. He's a real crepe hanger.

You say what?

ROBERT MURRAY, CEO, MURRAY ENERGY: And I say they're lying to the American people.

Mr. Obama himself said that electric rates will skyrocket. What they are doing has nothing to do with the environment, Neil. For the last 15 years, Earth temperatures have stabilized. It has not heated at all. Their regulations on greenhouse gases would only affect two-tenths of 1 percent in terms of carbon dioxide emissions in terms of affecting the temperature.

It has nothing to do with the environment, sir. It's a political power grab of America's power grid.

CAVUTO: All right. So, let's say you're right. And of course they quibble, you know, that you're not.

But you know what's interesting? When Democrats running for office feel the heat and are now distancing themselves from the president on this. Now, of course, this is a candidate running in West Virginia, big coal state, so there might be a method to that.

But -- but do you think this is boomeranging back on them?

MURRAY: I hope that it is for the sake of America, Neil, because I'm scared to death. I -- I really am.

CAVUTO: Do you think that it's going to mean, as you say, much higher utility bills? I know -- I think the figure mentioned is 30 to 35 percent higher electricity bills in the not-so-distant future.

MURRAY: The PJM Interconnection, the electric utilities themselves, 61 million Americans, 13 states, just bid the price of electricity up double in 2017 and 2018.

These regulations are going to cost the American economy $480 billion. They're going to reduce our gross domestic product $200 million. It's going to cost 1,100,000 people their jobs, for no environmental benefit at all.

And the worst part about it is, Neil, that 10 percent of the population that are at the lowest levels economically are going to pay three times as more for this insanity, these regulations, which will not affect the environment, than the folks in the higher income brackets.

To me, that is very scary. Yes, I'm concerned about my coal miners, but I'm concerned about America too, sir.

CAVUTO: Do you hear anything from the administration, Bob? Or anyone say, all right, Bob, we want to talk to you, you seem to know this coal industry pretty well? What?

MURRAY: Well, I'm getting lawsuits from the environmental groups.

I'm getting advertisements run against Murray Energy Corporation and myself personally. Yes, I'm getting a lot of pushback from the Obama administration as well. But I'm not going to stop, sir, because I have mined coal for 58 years. And I know the electric utility industry as well as anybody in America.

And people in this country had better understand that these liberal elitists and these environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Council, the national organizations, are selling a false statement to the American people.

It is going to not have any environmental benefit, but it's going to drive electricity rates up double what they are, cost over a million jobs.

CAVUTO: You know what they say, though, Bob, real quickly -- I will give you a chance to get your side of this -- that even if it doesn't have the impact we want it to have, coal is a dirty business. It's our dirtiest energy source, and we would be better to have less dependence on it.

You say what?

MURRAY: Emissions are now down to 1994 levels.

They have been reduced 30 percent in this country. Coal can be burned very cleanly with clean coal technology. But when you drive it out of business -- and he's already closed 411 coal-fired power plants in this country. That's 100,000 megawatts. That's the 4-cent-a-kilowatt-hour electricity, Neil, compared to the 22-cent wind and solar that he promotes, which gets a subsidy from the taxpayer as well.

What we're seeing here is playing -- people being allowed to play in the game, pay for play, and getting kickbacks from the federal government to eliminate the low-cost electricity in this country. I'm seeing it every bay.

The Obama administration has made a lot of billionaires at the taxpayers' experience. And we need all sorts of electricity generation in this country, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables.

CAVUTO: All right.

MURRAY: We need it all, Neil...

CAVUTO: Gotcha.

MURRAY: ... to hold down the electric rates in this country.

CAVUTO: Bob Murray, one of the most influential coal CEOs on the planet, thank you, sir. Very good seeing you again.

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