May 6, 2016

Just in time to start knocking down Hillary Clinton in the important state of West Virginia, which just happens to have a primary next week, Fox News has been trotting out an unemployed coal minor to distort her position on putting coal companies out of business.

Think Progress had the back story on Monday:

Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton said it in March, as part of longer remarks on how to create jobs in perpetually struggling coal country. The plan she outlined was to essentially allow Appalachia’s already-dying coal industry to perish, but to replace it with a thriving renewable energy businesses. Job training would then be provided to people who lost their jobs in the coal bust. “We’re going to make it clear that we don’t want to forget these people,” Clinton said at the time, referring to former coal miners.


Fast forward two months, and Clinton may need West Virginia. On Tuesday, she is scheduled to visit Williamson — a town billed as “the heart of the billion-dollar coalfields” — to make the case for her presidency before the state’s May 10 primary. The last poll taken in West Virginia, in February, showed her rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) up by almost 30 percentage points.

If this had been Trump, Fox would undoubtedly have crowed about his forward thinking but since this was Clinton, Your World was one of several Fox shows (plus Fox Nation) to host and showcase unemployed coal miner Bo Copley, who challenged her.

Cavuto played a clip of Clinton speaking about Copley after the meeting, saying, “We have to do better” regardless of the fact that he’s a Republican. Then Cavuto asked for Copley’s reaction, as if we couldn’t have guessed that he’d start criticizing her.

“Doesn’t sound like she cares about my vote very much at all,” Copley said.

“When she said to you, Bo, that when it came to what she had said about coal, all but wanting to kill off the industry, that it was kind of taken out of context […] you say what?” Cavuto asked.

“I’m not wanting to wait until the general election is over and someone comes into office to bring in some kind of industry to our region,” Copley replied. “I’m going to be out of work for the near future for as far as I can see.”

Cavuto pressed for more. “How do you answer that, that there does seem to be a big target on all you guys’ heads, that coal just isn’t cool anymore? That there are other, cleaner energy sources out there and yours isn’t one of them. How do you answer them?”

Copley said, “There are a lot of technological advances in clean coal right now,” and then went on to attack the Obama administration. “The current administration has really hamstrung us through the EPA and their regulations and, among other things, the power plants and things that use coal, they just made it unaffordable for these places to operate right now. So really the administration kind of tied our hands for us.”

What Cavuto didn’t mention is that coal production has been dying for more than a decade:

According to [Janet Keating, the executive director of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition] hostility can be high among West Virginians when it comes to ending coal production — even though it’s been slowly happening for more than a decade. Because of the proliferation of natural gas across America, improvements in renewable energy, and increased pressure to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, coal use has fallen 29 percent in the United States since 2007.

Watch the one-sided discussion above, from the May 3 Your World.

Crossposted at

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