Trump officials helped edit report on “Bomb Cyclone” to flatter Big Coal

Credit: NOAA

Facing a branding crisis, the coal industry appears to have enlisted a reliable ally as its PR rep: the Trump administration. According to recently released emails, administration officials pushed to include details flattering to Big Coal in a federal report covering last winter’s “Bomb Cyclone.” Trump officials appear set on spinning a misleading narrative that only coal can improve our emergency response to widespread power outages. They encouraged the report’s authors at the U.S. Department of Energy to highlight the outages from natural gas-fired power, while emphasizing planned coal plant closures, as part of their analysis of the storm. The emails reveal what we already suspected to be true: The Trump administration has no intention of assessing the facts on coal as it barrels toward a federally sponsored bailout for the dying industry. If it did, it might have to admit that more extreme weather events are in no small part due to burning so much coal in the first place.

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