Propagandizing for the coal industry
A look at the Wheeling Intelligencer’s coverage and celebration of the Trump Administration’s override of the Clean Power Plan
National coverage --- editing an AP report
The front page headline of this morning's Wheeling Intelligencer reads:
Trump Administration To Get Rid of Obama's Clean Power Plan
and what follows is the first two-thirds of the AP story. Of course, what was dropped tells another story that local readers don't need to read:
Despite the rhetoric about saving coal, government statistics show that coal mines currently employ only about 52,000 workers nationally — a modest 4-percent uptick since Trump became president. Those numbers are dwarfed by the jobs created by building such clean power infrastructure as wind turbines and solar arrays.
Local coverage – rounding up the usual suspects
On page 3, local propagandist for the fossil fuel industry and sometimes reporter Casey Junkins has an article on what Murray Energy and some of our politicians had to say about the decision. Murray Energy, fresh off the appointment of their former lobbyist to become 2nd in command at the EPA, received the most coverage. The oddest statement was the one attributed to Senator Manchin:
Manchin in his statement called Obama-era policies on energy “misguided.”
“West Virginia and the United States should lead the global clean-energy economy and with an administration working as a partner, instead of an opponent, we are poised to do just that,” he said.
“Clean-energy economy” with coal? Huh?
An anti-Obama editorial completes the package
The editorial, “Better Late Than Never,” is essentially 625 words worth of anti-Obama coal rhetoric; a “greatest hits” package selected from eight years’ worth of editorials that have blamed the former president for everything that has gone wrong in the coal industry. It’s all here and as usual, without a shred of evidence in support of its many assertions: unfair subsidies to alternatives, higher electric bills, irrational limits on mining, and of course, attacks on Obama’s motives. Yes, once again Obama’s actions are explained as a “vendetta” without even the simplest explanation as to why or how it is a “blood feud.” The opening sentence sets the tone for the rest of the editorial (note -- I think the writer means "fortunate" not "unfortunate"):
It is unfortunate for the nation as a whole, not just for energy-producing states, that former President Barack Obama’s war on coal and affordable electricity is being ended after years in which it was pursued with attack-dog tenacity and yes, viciousness.
I believe psychologists call that “projection.”