Chris Cline, the founder of Foresight Energy, will maintain a 66% voting interest in FEGP and an approximate 36% economic interest in FELP.. Cline will remain actively involved as chairman of the board of directors of FEGP and will also join the board of directors of Murray Energy. Robert E. Murray will remain the chairman, president and CEO of Murray Energy. Rob Moore will remain the executive vice president, CFO, and COO of Murray Energy, and will become the CEO of Foresight Energy and join its board of directors.
In related news, Murray Energy officials confirmed April 14 that it has laid off more than 200 workers at three of its mines in West Virginia. A total of 59 were furloughed at the Ohio County Coal Co., along with 27 at the Harrison County Coal Co. and 128 contractors at the Marshall County Coal Co. complex. The three employ a total of 451, 422 and 814, respectively. All were previous CONSOL Energy mines before MEC took over the operations in December 2013.
Murray spokesperson Gary Broadbent said that the move was made for several reasons. “We regret that, due to the ongoing destruction of the U.S. coal industry by President Barack Obama, and his supporters, by the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity, and by the extremely excessive coal severance tax in the State of West Virginia, some reductions have been necessary.”
The announcement is separate from its late March decision to temporarily and partly idle the Monongalia County mine in northern West Virginia due to rail shipping issues. Broadbent noted that Murray American has 400 more employees at its West Virginia operations than existed when the acquisition was completed in 2013.