Climate Change Energy

EPA chief Pruitt spews “alternative facts” about coal jobs

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt took a victory lap around the Sunday-morning talk shows to tout Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. But he quickly found himself on the defensive, once again dodging the question of whether the president still believes that climate change is a “hoax.” Pruitt also found the truth to be inconvenient on another matter. On Meet the Press, he falsely claimed that the nation has added “almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector” under the Trump administration, including “almost 7,000” last month alone. Actually, the country’s coal-mining jobs increased by only 586 during the first three months of 2017, bringing the total number of U.S. coal-mining jobs to about 51,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Incidentally, a new analysis finds that swapping out all U.S. coal energy for solar could save approximately 52,000 lives every year.) During Pruitt’s appearance on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace cited other statistics to show that America has more than double the number of solar power workers as those in the coal industry—and suggested that Trump’s pledge to bring back coal was akin to “protecting the horse-and-buggy business just as cars came online.” Now that’s the truth.

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