Murray Energy cited the Clean Air Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in 1970, as clearly requiring the EPA to consider job losses in regulation issuance. In this regard, according to company officials, since 2008, the administration “has never complied with the law.”

In its notice, Murray Energy demanded EPA officials immediately comply with the act to evaluate their “disastrous” regulation-driven job losses.

“Over the past several years, the Obama EPA has promulgated a series of regulations seeking to eliminate the U.S. coal industry, and the good jobs and low cost electricity it provides,” the company added. “Indeed, the lives and livelihoods of entire families in many regions of America are being destroyed.”

At least 392 coal-fired electric power plants in America have been closed or identified for closure by the EPA, in the near future, noted Murray officials. This constitutes a loss of some 100,000 megawatts (Mw) of the lowest-cost electric power available nationwide; unemployment, meanwhile, has surged across mining communities.

“Unfortunately, we had no choice but to file this notice and lawsuit,” said Gary M. Broadbent, the company’s assistant general counsel. “The Clean Air Act is crystal clear in requiring the EPA to evaluate the negative impact their regulations will have on jobs, but they have repeatedly been derelict.”

Murray Energy pledged further litigation but declined to elaborate. “This is the first of several actions we have undertaken to protect the livelihoods of coal miners and their families and to preserve low cost electricity,” said Broadbent.

Murray Energy is one of the largest employers in the U.S. coal industry with more than 7,100 employees and operating 13 active coal mines across six states.