Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Culture | By Marion Pratt

John Oliver takes on Trump and the coal industry

John Oliver takes on Trump and the coal industry

However Mr. Nutterbutter (for such is his name) did bring an oversized check just in case, complete with a very coal miner-like message to go along with the implied, "Just don't fuck with John Oliver".

Pruit claimed over 50,000 jobs have been added in coal and 7,000 in May.

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It was a telling past interview that Trump gave to Playboy (1990) that underscored Trump's apparent insensitivity to the issue, as he was quoted as saying: "The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son". He also calls out what he sees as Trump's disingenuous rhetoric: "Trump needs to stop lying to coal miners", Oliver said. Yes, Oliver said, coal mining jobs are in decline, but those jobs have been disappearing for years. The bulk of the segment has more to do with the more typical debunking of myths about the decades-long decrease in coal mining jobs, citing the roles in automation, lower natural gas prices, and more.

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the actual number of coal jobs created since previous year has been just 1,300".

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In fact, Oliver points out, Trump's new budget proposal would cut funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, which helps revitalize communities affected by coal mining job losses.

"Okay, okay, let me stop you right there", Oliver said as Trump was looking quite ridiculous. "Evil." As Oliver details in the 24-minute breakdown, Murray has launched lawsuits against most major newspapers as well as a $1 billion defamation suit against a small-town paper, lied about the cause of a fatal mine collapse to dead employees' family members, and ignored the logical requests of coal miners, the group of people Murray professes to champion the most. "And Trump didn't create them, he just remembered 12 times in his life he saw a lobster". "Stop telling them that their jobs are all coming back when they're not, stop telling them that coal is clean when it isn't, and stop pretending that this isn't an industry in the middle of a hard and painful-albeit necessary-transition. An honest conversation about coal and its miners needs to be had". Playing off an apocryphally folksy Murray Energy tale about a talking squirrel being the impetus for Bob Murray's mining business, Oliver brought out his own giant squirrel mascot and asserted that he, indeed, agrees with the company's response that that whole talking squirrel thing never, ever happened.

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