A coal company owned by one of President Trump‘s donors, the largest privately owned U.S. coal company, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday.
Murray Energy says it came to a restructuring support agreement to manage $2.7 billion in debt with lenders who own more than 60 percent of a $1.7 billion loan. The agreement also funds operations to continue operating with $350 million.
Murray has advocated for miners to Trump’s administration, asking it to help the workers in the struggling industry, Bloomberg reported.
“Although a bankruptcy filing is not an easy decision, it became necessary to access liquidity and best position Murray Energy and its affiliates for the future of our employees and customers and our long term success,” Murray said in a press release.
Murray’s nephew Robert Moore will take over as chief executive officer and president of Murray Energy. A new organization named Murray NewCo will be formed per the agreement with lenders to obtain the company’s assets, with Moore as CEO and Murray as chairman, the release stated.
A year ago, the Trump administration attempted to subsidize nuclear and coal-fired power plants before administration energy regulators rejected the proposal.
Coal firms are struggling, with four other major companies filing for bankruptcy. Murray had cautioned in 2017 that bankruptcy could be on the horizon for his company because of the changing nature of the industry, with natural gas and renewable energy becoming cheaper alternatives to coal, according to Bloomberg.
The company, with 5,000 employees, including 2,400 union members, said it also has an $8 billion bill in liabilities for pensions and benefit plans, Bloomberg reported.
Murray previously spoke out against former President Obama’s clean air regulations, calling Obama “the greatest enemy I’ve ever had in my life.” The coal company head reportedly gave $1 million to a political action committee supporting Trump’s agenda in the 2018 election.