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Murray Exec Calls for Tax Break in Speech

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy
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In a booming speech, Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray called for a deep cut to a state coal mining tax possibly offset by higher taxes on tobacco, alcohol, professional services and natural gas production.

Murray's 38-minute address came Wednesday at the West Virginia Coal Mining Symposium in Charleston.

As coal struggles, Murray said West Virginia's coal severance tax needs to drop from 5 to 2 percent to be competitive with other states. He said it's insufficient to drop a 56-cent-per-ton surtax, a move Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has proposed.

Murray, a Republican bankroller, blasted President Barack Obama for his policies that target airborne pollution from coal-fired power plants.

He didn't spare congressional Republicans either, saying the House and Senate "have done nothing for coal in the last two years."

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