Bob Murray is dead!

Perhaps you recall John Oliver’s hilarious expose of the evil coal baron, Bob Murray, which prompted Murray to fling a SLAPP suit at him, that ended badly for Murray, with Mr Nutterbutter awarding him diddly.

Murray was notoriously litigious, and he had a lot to hide. He was a callous exploiter of coal miners, who opposed legislation protecting the health of his employees, even while expecting government benefits for black lung for himself.

At least that much is admitted in a tepid obituary for the old monster.

While Murray applied for black lung benefits, bankruptcy enabled his company to avoid obligations to employees diagnosed with black lung, shifting its $74.4 million liability to the federal government’s Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, according to Labor Department estimates provided to Congress.

Good riddance, Bob! Now you’re even more dead than the coal industry!


  1. garnetstar says

    He also sued my hometown paper for writing a news story about him, which was wholly factual and correct. Trying to drive it to bankruptcy.

    He was also responsible for many deaths when one of his unsafe, not-up-to-regulatory-standards, mines collapsed. And he refused to admit any responsibility (said the collapse was due to an imaginary earthquake), didn’t keep the frantic families informed about their loved one’s fates, and screwed over the families in compensation.

    So, he’s dead now. Is all I have to say.

  2. Richard Smith says

    For a moment, I felt really awful. Then I realized it was “Bob” and not “Bill”. That’s okay.

  3. asclepias says

    I don’t tend to celebrate deaths, but when it’s a coal baron, I do. I’ve been researching the companies listed in the carbon majors report from the Climate Accountability Institute, and Murray Energy was–well, there was lots of material. I haven’t gotten far in that list, either–since January I’ve written up about 15. I’m trying to do a blog post a week, and I got sick of researching coal and oil companies all the time. They’re all the same–plead devotion to the environment in the environmental section of the annual report, while racking up the environmental violations. Then, if things aren’t going your way, declare bankruptcy and get a judge to let you out of all environmental obligations, lay off a few thousand miners, weasel out of paying benefits to your retirees, and pay yourself millions of dollars to “shepherd the company through bankruptcy.”

  4. JustaTech says

    I’m genuinely surprised that Murray was ever on-site at his mines long enough to get black lung. He didn’t strike me as hands-on management.

  5. rrutis1 says

    JustaTech @8
    I look at it as that is just how bad the dust controls were in his mines…so bad that even the office areas are affected.