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Coal company to lay off 156 workers in Utah, Ill.

Nov. 09, 2012 @ 11:53 PM

ST. LOUIS -- A coal producer owned by a longtime critic of President Barack Obama's energy policies will lay off nearly 160 workers at Illinois and Utah mines, blaming the freshly re-elected president for a "war on coal."

Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp. said in a statement supplied Friday to The Associated Press that it would give pink slips to 102 workers at its West Ridge Mine in Utah and 54 at its underground mine in the southern Illinois town of Galatia. Both mines are run by Murray Energy subsidiaries.

Murray did not specify when layoffs will take place or the total number of workers at each affected site. The company refused an email interview request, saying only that "unfortunately, we will be forced to make even more layoffs, none of which we want."

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