The CEO of the country’s largest privately-owned coal company who strongly backed President Donald Trump was surprised to find that the Republican Senate tax bill would cripple his industry, CNN reports.
“We won’t have enough cash flow to exist. It wipes us out,” Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray told CNN Tuesday.
Murray, who jumped on the Trump train over the president’s claim to support the coal industry, called the Senate tax bill a “mockery” that would be devastating to the coal industry.
“This wipes out everything that President Trump has done for coal,” Murray said.
The tax bill the Senate passed last week would help companies by lowering the corporate tax rate, but it also eliminates some tax breaks.
For coal companies, it could be a double-whammy. It would preserve the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and impose new limits on the interest payments that businesses can write off. Murray Energy estimates that these changes would raise its tax bill by $60 million per year.
The House bill eliminates the AMT, something that would save Murray Energy and other companies money. The AMT prevents companies from claiming so many tax credits and deductions that they owe Uncle Sam nothing at all.
Murray said that his company could go bankrupt, leaving his 5,500 employees out of work. Asked if other coal companies could go out of business as a result of the bill, he said, “Most certainly.”