Coal CEO Robert Murray warns that if the Senate type of tax reform is enacted by President Trump he’ll end up being destroying a large number of coal mining jobs in the process.
“We won’t have enough cash flow to are present. It wipes us out,” Murray told CNNMoney in an interview on Tuesday.
Murray, a fierce supporter of Trump’s efforts to regenerate coal, condemned the Senate bill as a “mockery” that could inflict a devastating tax hike on beleaguered coal mining organizations as well as other capital-intensive companies.
“This wipes away everything that President Trump has done for coal,” said Murray, the CEO of Murray Energy, one of America’s largest coal companies.
The goverment tax bill the Senate passed the other day would help companies by lowering the organization tax rate, but it addittionally eliminates some tax breaks.
For coal companies, it may be a double-whammy. It would preserve the choice Minimum Taxes (AMT) and impose different limits on the interest payments that businesses can create off. Murray Energy estimates that these improvements would raise its goverment tax bill by $60 million each year.
The House bill eliminates the AMT, something that would save Murray Energy and others money. The AMT inhibits businesses from claiming so various tax credits and deductions that they owe Uncle Sam nothing at all.
Like other coal companies, Murray Energy borrows heavily to pay for its expensive mining operations. The Senate bill would cap the number of interest payments which can be written off to 30% of a company’s income.
Auto dealers would also have been harmed by the Senate bill’s interest deduction cap. But, after fierce lobbying from automobile dealers, the Senate made a last-minute transform to the legislation that exempts them from the interest deduction cap.
Related: Senate bill allows oil drilling in Alaskan refuge
Murray declined to say if he shared his considerations with Trump, who offers promised to “set our coal miners back again to work” by cutting down environmental restrictions. Trump attended a West Virginia fundraiser hosted by Murray in June 2016.
“I know he cares about the coal miners and their jobs,” Murray said.
Murray warned that a bankruptcy of his Ohio-based company would hurt its 5,500 workers along with their families. Asked if other coal mining businesses could walk out business, he said: “Most definitely.”
Roughly half of American coal jobs have disappeared since the end of 2011 amid a wave of coal bankruptcies, according to a Columbia University study. The study found that coal’s decline provides been mostly caused by an abundance of cheap healthy gas which has led power plant life to switch from coal. Regulation, which Trump normally blames for coal’s difficulties, also hurt coal but not by as many as natural gas.
More recently, the coal market has been pressured by declining costs for renewable energy like solar and wind.
Related: John Oliver sued by coal CEO more than ‘character assassination’
Murray’s comments about the tax overhaul are not the first time he’s made dire predictions about his own business.
In August, Murray warned that his company could immediately go bankrupt if the Trump administration didn’t issue a crisis order protecting coal-fired power plant life from being shut. “Our period is running out. Please fight for all of us,” Murray wrote in a letter to the White House.
The Trump administration eventually rejected the cry for help, deciding there wasn’t more than enough evidence to “warrant the application of this emergency authority.”
Murray told CNNMoney that his enterprise now believes it could survive by ramping up exports. That could shield Murray Energy from the shutdown of extra U.S. power plant life that it materials. “We believe we can get through it,” he said.
Murray is known for fiercely defending the coal market. In June, he filed a defamation lawsuit against comedian John Oliver, HBO and CNN owner Time Warner (TWX), alleging “personality assassination” during an bout of “Last Week Tonight.” HBO provides filed a action to dismiss the lawsuit. A hearing on the action is planned for January 10 in West Virginia, according to an HBO spokesman.
The coal boss in addition has enraged environmentalists by repeatedly denying the risks posed by climate change, a stance he repeated on Tuesday.
“Climate change is not only a hoax, it’s a fraud,” Murray said.
–CNNMoney’s Lydia DePillis and Chris Isidore contributed to this report.