Culture

John Oliver Breaks Down Why Coal Is Not Going To Happen

by Kate Ryan

June 19, 2017

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” EPA head Scott Pruitt said 50,000 jobs have been added to the coal industry since President Trump was elected. Sunday night, “Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver broke down why that number simply isn’t true. In fact, as The Atlantic also reported, the coal industry only saw about 1,000 jobs added since October 2016, a far cry from the 50,000 Trump’s team claimed to have created. But, as Oliver notes, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the mountain of problems facing the coal industry.

Because we’re (for the most part) well aware of coal’s environmentally disastrous properties and unsafe working conditions already, Oliver decided to focus on the corrupt men at the helm of the industry who are fighting tooth and nail to keep the dirty energy alive. In the clip (which you can watch above), he explains why Murray Energy Corp. CEO Bob Murray is a “geriatric Dr. 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.

Of course, Oliver preceded all of this damning information with the disclosure that Murray threatened to sue the show, saying, “I’m going to need to be careful here,” though we can safely assume HBO’s legal team thoroughly investigated the threat and determined it baseless, leaving us to enjoy the savage takedown of coal’s inordinately selfish leaders. See for yourself by checking out the clip above. 

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John Oliver Breaks Down Why Coal Is Not Going To Happen