Home Energy and Environment Demolishing Ken Cuccinelli’s Brain-Dead “War on Coal” Graphic

Demolishing Ken Cuccinelli’s Brain-Dead “War on Coal” Graphic


A few points on the graphic by Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign is putting out, pushing their false/ginned up “war on coal” meme against Terry McAuliffe.

1. As I demonstrated the other day, Virginia coal mining employment is UP – repeat, UP! – under President Obama. It went DOWN – repeat, DOWN! – under President Bush. So, should we conclude by these statistics that Republicans are waging a “war on coal?” I mean, that’s just as brain dead as Cuccinelli’s idiotic attack line.

2. As I also pointed out, Cuccinelli’s ally Randy Forbes got it exactly backwards when he (hysterically) warns of job losses at the Port of Virginia. In fact, any reduction in Virginia coal consumption at U.S. power plants, while Virginia coal production remains constant, will result in HIGHER net exports of Virginia coal. Nice try by Rep. Forbes, but no cigar.

3. So…Cuccinelli claims that “Virginia coal is 19,260 jobs.” Sound like a lot? Well, it certainly is to the 19,260 people who have those jobs, and that matters. But in context, out of a Virginia civilian labor force of 4.2 million jobs, Cuccinelli is talking about 0.46% of Virginia jobs. And remember, per point #1, those jobs are UP under President Obama. But the main point is that 99.54% of Virginia employment is NOT in coal, and Ken Cuccinelli’s backwards, regressive, trickle-down policies would be disastrous for that 99.54%. They also wouldn’t help the 0.46% of Virginians employed in the coal industry, just as George W. Bush’s policies didn’t help (again, coal mining employment in Virginia was DOWN under Bush).

4. As for economic activity, Cuccinelli claims that coal accounts for $2.5 billion Virginia economic activity. First of all, that’s unlikely. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ statistics, economic output for ALL mining activities in Virginia (oil and gas, coal, etc.) was $2.3 billion, which is obviously less than $2.5 billion. But let’s even say that Cuccinelli’s numbers were right; we’re talking about $2.5 billion out of total Virginia economic activity of $446 billion in 2012. That means mining (coal, natural gas, etc.) makes up 0.56% of Virginia’s economy, while 99.44% is made up of everything else. And again, Ken Cuccinelli’s rob-from-the-middle-class-and-give-to-the-rich economic policies would hurt that 99.44%, while not helping the 0.56% in any way either.

5. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ statistics, Virginia wages in 2011 were $204 billion. Cuccinelli claims $1.4 billion of that’s in coal mining,. which would amount to 0.69% of total Virginia wages. That means that 99.31% of Virginia wages are NOT coal mining related. And again, Cuccinelli’s right-wingnut economic and social policies would seriously harm those 99.31% of Virginia wages, while doing NOTHING to boost the 0.69% related to coal mining.

So much for THAT line of attack. Next?

P.S. Meanwhile, Cuccinelli continues to deny climate science, and the existential threat posed by global warming, while offering ZERO ideas to deal with this crisis. That will do wonders for places like Hampton Roads, when it’s under water, or the rest of Virginia, when we face increasingly severe droughts and storms, etc.

P.P.S. I forgot to mention the first claim in this graphic, that “every dollar raised at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner is a dollar that will go to funding the McAuliffe/Biden/Obama war on coal.” Actually, every dollar raised at the JJ goes to funding the Democratic Party of Virginia, which helps elect Democrats in Virginia. That enables us to promote economic fairness and social justice, a clean energy economy, LGBT equality, a woman’s right to choose, everyone’s right to vote, and many other important policy goals, while blocking Teapublicans’ extremist agenda. If you’re interested in helping achieve those goals, I urge you to give to your favorite Virginia Democratic candidate – for gov, LG, AG, or House of Delegates – today!  Thanks.