Coal jobs and coal production in Ohio have increased since 2007, but a Fox News report ignored this fact while claiming that the "universal perception" in Ohio is that the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) "has made [coal] jobs more scarce." Fox News host Martha MacCallum began the segment by asking, "What has the EPA done to deserve such a bad reputation in this part of Ohio?," which reporter Steve Brown deftly avoided answering.
From the November 1 edition of America's Newsroom:
The report featured plenty of video roll of various "war on coal" yard signs and billboards scattered across southeastern Ohio. But, despite being focused on the community's "universal perception" of the EPA (rather than a reality-based discussion of the coal industry), the report featured no public opinion polls and only a single-question interview with a former coal miner.
Even after Fox News posed the leading question, "Is EPA a dirty word out here?," the interviewee could not articulate any specific EPA actions that have caused harm to his community. In fact, the miner began his answer with a reference to the booming oil and natural gas industry -- a coal competitor that poses a major threat to the coal industry in Ohio regardless of the EPA.
And even as long overdue health regulations from the EPA were enacted, coal jobs and coal production are actually up in Ohio. Politifact Ohio wrote yesterday "jobs and coal production in Ohio have increased" since 2007 "by every measurement we could find."
Avoiding reality to shill for coal industry executives and parrot Republican talking points is nothing new for Fox News. It has been shamefully silent on GOP obstructionism that threatens the health of coal miners and earlier this year, and Fox News starred in a coal industry ad attacking the EPA.