Pruitt Lied About Coal Industry Job Creation

Thumbnail image for coal-1626401_1920.jpgYour average second-grader knows that 1,300 is not the same as 50,000…..and that 400 is not the same as 7,000.

But the man who heads the US EPA evidently does not know this.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt was all over the airwaves the last few days, defending the United States’ backing out of the Paris climate change accord by saying that the decision was necessary to support coal industry job creation. As statistical evidence to support this, Pruitt claimed:

“Since the 4th quarter of last year….we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May [2017] alone, almost 7,000 jobs.”

But this is false. Extraordinarily so. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most respected authority on where the jobs are in the country, tells us that, since the 4th quarter of last year, the coal industry created 1,300 jobs, not the 50,000 Pruitt claimed. 50,000 is not the number of coal jobs created in the last few months, but the total number of coal jobs in the country. Total. Plus, in the month of May, coal created 400 jobs, not the 7,000 Pruitt claimed.

So, did Trump and Pruitt pull us out of the Paris accord because they were badly mistaken about how many coal jobs had been created in the US? Or did they intentionally disregard the truth, assuming that we were all too stupid to figure it out?

We can have an interesting debate over whether the horrible and dangerous environmental decisions these guys are making are because of (a) stupidity, (b) dishonesty, or (c) some of both.

But when our air and water become too polluted to sustain human health, does the difference really matter?

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