WHEELING - Murray Energy Corp. founder and Chief Executive Officer Robert E. Murray will host a gathering of Ohio's Republican congressmen, led by House Speaker John Boehner, during a private fundraiser today at Wheeling Park's White Palace.
The invitation-only event is scheduled for 5 p.m. in the White Palace ballroom. Murray Energy spokesman Gary Broadbent said Boehner will address the group during the gathering.
The GOP holds 12 of the Buckeye State's 16 total House seats, and Murray believes maintaining Republican control of the House - including Boehner as speaker - and re-electing the party's Ohio representatives to new terms in the 2014 election is crucial to pushing back against President Barack Obama's environmental regulations that he believes are destroying the coal industry.
Those expected to attend include Boehner and Reps. Bill Johnson, Bob Gibbs, Steve Chabot, Patrick Tiberi, Michael Turner, Robert Latta, Jim Jordan, James Renacci, Steven Stivers, Brad Wenstrup and David Joyce.
The event comes less than a month after Obama unveiled plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions from both new and existing coal-fired power plants through new rules implemented not by Congress but by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His remarks during a speech at Georgetown University also included plans to boost renewable energy production and work with the international community to deal with climate change.
Local coal mine operators, including Murray, decried the president's plan as disastrous for their industry and the thousands of jobs it provides.