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

- GALATIA, Ill. (AP) - A coal producer owned by a longtime critic of President Barack Obama's energy policies is laying off nearly 160 workers at Illinois and Utah mines in the wake of the president's re-election.

In a statement, Murray Energy blames what it calls the Obama administration's "war on coal" for the pink slips being given to 102 workers at its West Ridge Mine in Utah and 54 at its operation in the southern Illinois town of Galatia.

Murray is critical of the Obama administration for policies that tightly regulate the coal industry while promoting "green" energy sources.

It isn't immediately clear how quickly the layoffs will take place or how many total workers there are at each site.

Ohio-based Murray refused an interview request Friday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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