John Oliver tells Donald Trump: 'Stop lying to coal miners'

'An honest conversation about coal and its miners needs to be had'

Jack Shepherd
Monday 19 June 2017 09:28
John Oliver: Trump needs to stop lying to coal miners

Having flown Theresa May rival Lord Buckethead to America last week, John Oliver spent the weekend’s show concentrating on matters back in the US.

While begging the Last Week Tonight episode discussing the health care act, Oliver quickly moved onto “cocaine for Thomas the Tank Engine,” better known as coal.

President Donald Trump has spoken at lengths about the coal industry in America, promising miners their jobs back while donning a safety helmet and pretending to ‘mine’ during a Wisconsin rally.

“It is not easy watching someone I doubt has done a day of hard labour in his life show how he thinks coal mining works,” quipped Oliver.

Since entering office, Trump has managed to create 1,300 coal jobs — far less than the number promised while campaigning — and cited coal as a major reason to pull out from the Paris Climate Agreement.

However, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency has claimed the administration has actually “added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.”

“OK, so the only problem there is that those numbers are bullshit,” Oliver says, pointing out how 50,000 was over 48,000 off the actual statistic, adding: “Which for this administration is surprisingly accurate.”

Deciding not to talk about the catastrophic effects coal mining can have on the environment, Oliver looked at why mining jobs are depleting, noting the decline in gas prices and rise in renewable energy.

Admitting coal-related job dropped under the Obama administration, Oliver also joked how “careers in the Zeppelin industry and babies named Adolf” have also fallen in years past.

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The host then decided to show an old Playboy magazine extract from 1990 in which Trump is quoted as saying: “If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination — or whatever — to leave their mine. They don’t have ‘it’.”

“And you know what?” Oliver asks. “They certainly don’t have what Trump has, specifically inherited wealth and hair like the wispy pubes of an ageing yeti.”

“Trump needs to stop lying to coal miners. We all do. Stop telling them that their jobs are all coming back when they’re not. Stop telling them that coal is clean when it isn’t. And stop pretending that this isn’t an industry in the middle of a painful—albeit necessary—transition.

“An honest conversation about coal and its miners needs to be had, and we should neither cease nor desist from having it.”

Along with having Lord Buckethead on the show, Oliver gave his damning verdict on the James Comey trial last week. Watch here.

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