John Oliver takes on Trump and the coal industry

Posted June 21, 2017

Image via YouTube.comThe "Last Week Tonight" host mocked President Trump's vow to the miners: "I made them this promise". But on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver argued that the billionaire mogul preyed on communities desperate for hope as their industry dies out.

The deeper Oliver looks into what's really going on, the sadder it gets. "He may well think it's just running up to things that he wants and yelling 'MINE!'" Some coal companies are even using solar power, which Oliver says is like "finding out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was brought to you by Smash Mouth".

"The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the actual number of coal jobs created since a year ago has been just 1,300". Oliver highlights the coal company CEOs who have cut benefits from miners while paying themselves more money. The ultimate goal, the host argued, should be transitioning these workers into suitable alternative fields - especially given the growth in renewable energies, like wind and solar.

But that shouldn't bother Trump too much since he seems more interested in helping mining CEO's get rich than helping miners, who are often little more than tools to leverage concessions from the government.

He also spotlighted the following Trump quote from a 1990 Playboy interview, which is fair to say should have been bad for optics: "If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. Evil." As Oliver details in the 24-minute breakdown, Murray has launched lawsuits against most major newspapers as well as a $1 billion defamation suit against a small-town paper, lied about the cause of a fatal mine collapse to dead employees' family members, and ignored the logical requests of coal miners, the group of people Murray professes to champion the most.

The comedian ended his segment with a final dose of straight talk aimed not only at President Trump but also the entire country.

In wrapping up the piece, Oliver said Trump "needs to stop lying to coal miners", specifically he needs to stop telling miners their jobs are coming back, stop telling everyone that coal is clean and stop ignoring the industry is going through a hard period. "An honest conversation about coal and its miners needs to be had".