It’s not a War on Coal

The Telegraph’s two “War on Coal” editorials are nothing less than a “War on Veracity.” The over-the-top hyperbolic rhetoric used in the editorials “President Obama’s war on coal … was pursued with attack-dog … viciousness” and “Obama’s vendetta” are right-wing rhetoric language, but not a supposedly middle of the road newspaper.

Some facts:

Editorials said: “They pumped billions of taxpayer subsidies into alternatives,” which is true, about $1 billion per year, however, the editorial did not mention that coal gets over $4 billion in subsidies per year and that does not include low-cost federal land leases coal companies strip mine, nor the cost to remediate strip-mined lands, nor the medical cost subsidies for coal miners with black lung disease. To put this in perspective, oil and gas subsidies are over $14 billion a year.

The editorials said, “Entire counties in West Virginia and Ohio had their economies devastated” and “mines that supplied power plants will never re-open.” The editorials are falsely blaming this on Obama’s Clean Power Plan. What the editorials did not mention is that coal jobs are disappearing due to abundant cheaper natural gas, coal mining automation and lowering coal exports to China over the last five years. The editorials do not talk about increased jobs in gas shale extraction and clean energy renewables, which are far surpassing coal miner job losses. Competition is killing coal, not clean energy.

Lastly, your editorials heap praise on Secretary Scott Pruitt, but do not mention he is a climate science denier, that he sued the EPA multiple times as Oklahoma’s attorney general and has called for the EPA to be shut down. He sent briefs to the EPA on Oklahoma State letterhead that were cut and pasted word for word from big oil memos. Scott Pruitt does not realize that the “P” in EPA is PROTECTION.