Robert Murray is the founder and CEO of Murray Energy Corp., an Ohio-based coal mining company. He blames the troubles facing the coal industry entirely on Democrats and has led lawsuits against Obama administration energy policies.
Speaking at a conference on Monday, Murray recounted that about a week ago, Donald Trump summoned him in for a one-on-one meeting, to reassure him that Trump is a friend of coal.
During the meeting, as Trump asked about various aspects of energy, Murray suggested lifting the ban on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports. The hope is if more natural gas can be exported, it might reduce the glut in the US, which has driven prices so low that it's killing coal.
Which brings us to this immortal exchange, recounted in SNL:
[Murray] said that Trump was agreeable with the idea, but then had a question.
"What's LNG?" Murray said Trump asked.
And just to be clear, that's not Saturday Night Live but the excellent energy trade journal SNL. It is, in other words, real life.
As I noted the other day, Trump's energy adviser, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), is basically a representative of the oil and gas industries. He is currently writing the white papers that will inform the speech on energy policy Trump is expected to give this week.
If Cramer's comments thus far are any guide, "Yes … now what did I say yes to?" seems to be a fair summation of Trump's attitude toward fossil fuels.