When President Donald Trump first took office back in January, it was almost instantly clear to everyone that sees the man for what he is that the new administration was going to use misinformation as one of their most powerful tools for achieving their own political and social goals. There have already been proven instances of either Trump himself or members of his administration blatantly lying when asked relatively straightforward questions, and when they aren’t busy lying, they’re working as hard as they can to avoid telling the truth by constantly shifting narratives away from anything they deem negative.
One of the defining lies of the administration, and subsequently one of the defining aspects of their overall policies, is that climate change is a myth perpetuated by the Chinese and those who want to see the classic American coal-miner out of a job. First, let’s make thing one thing perfectly clear: human-influenced climate change is a very real phenomenon. Second, the idea that one group of Americans wants to take the jobs from another group is totally asinine. If and when the coal industry collapses, and it will collapse, those workers will have multiple opportunities for work in the other expanding energy sectors. Solar companies need panel installers and maintenance workers on a highly regular basis.
To protect the fragile coal-miners from the ferocious attitudes of the environmentalists, the Trump administration has told one of the biggest lies yet. The lie was told by Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick for EPA Administrator. It should also be noted that Pruitt has a long history combating the policies of the EPA, and he has directly sued the organization he now leads on multiple occasions.
During an interview on Meet the Press, Pruitt was provided with an audio clip that featured Al Gore discussing problems with the coal industry and its slipping workforce. During the clip, Gore discusses how other factors beyond climate policy have affected the coal industry, and he suggests that returning to a vision for the 19th century isn’t the way to build a 21st century that can be called successful. After the clip is over, Chuck Todd asks Pruitt if Gore is correct in regards to the misleading promises that the Trump administration is making to the coal industry and fossil fuel industries in general.
Of course, since the real answer goes against the Republican narrative, Pruitt had little option but to lie. However, his response was such a blatant lie that it could easily be proven false by anyone using Google. He claimed that since Trump took office, nearly 50,000 jobs have been added to the coal industry. He also claimed that of those 50,000 jobs, 7,000 of them were created in May. In terms of how incorrect Pruitt is with his statements and how much potential damage it could do to those who don’t fact check anything that comes from Republican or conservative mouths, this is a highly dangerous remark that was clearly provided with deliberate intention in order to push a false narrative. Pruitt has made the claim multiple times, and it is clearly a statement meant to justify actions that are otherwise indefensible.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics currently estimates that a total of only 51,000 jobs exist in the coal industry. Unless the entire industry was built in the last few months, it is literally impossible for the industry to have grown by 50,000 jobs since Trump took office. Instead of the 7,000 jobs that Pruitt claims were added in May alone, the industry actually only saw an additional four hundred jobs added in May.