Coal CEO Robert Murray: GOP tax reform is a jobs killer

Murray Energy CEO Robert Murray has been supportive of what President Trump has done for the economy and for the coal industry so far, telling the FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto, “I think that President Trump has done a wonderful job in stimulating our economy, he has done tremendously well in eliminating voluminous regulations on the coal industry.  You know, this man deeply cares about working people.”

One of the focal points of the administration’s economic policy is tax reform, and it has made progress on Capitol Hill with efforts to reconcile the Republican House and Senate bills.

National Economic Council director Gary Cohn said on “Varney & Co.” Friday that tax reform would lead to even greater economic and job market growth in 2018.

“We’re at 4% basically now. We’re continuing to see growth. We’re continuing to see job growth. With the tax plan, we’re going to easily see 4% growth next year,” Cohn said.

But Murray warned that the Senate tax bill could actually have the opposite effect, particularly in the coal industry.

“The leaving of the alternative minimum tax in the plan along with deleting the net interest expense as a cost of business will cost Murray Energy $50-$60 million more in increased taxes, will eliminate 65,000 high-paid, well-benefited jobs in our company that we account for in the actual mining jobs and in the spinoff jobs,” Murray said.

According to Murray, it would also impact other companies with a similar business model.

“And Neil, I suspect this applies to a lot of highly leveraged, capital-intensive companies. This is not tax reform, this is [an] elimination of our business.”

Murray said he would approve of the Senate plan if the AMT was removed.

“Yes, it would be alright, the House of Representatives’ version of tax reform is fine, Neil, in this regard, and we have every indication that the Senate is realizing their mistake,” Murray said on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.”

Despite Murray’s concerns about some of the specifics in the Senate plan, he still believed that overall, tax reform would be a positive for the U.S. economy.

“I believe this will stimulate the country.  I believe what happened in the Senate was a terrible mistake, but I believe it will be rectified in the conference.”