Pruitt Mixes Up Numbers on Sunday Talk Shows

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt mixed up some numbers during his rounds on June 4's Sunday morning news shows.

U.S. coal jobs are growing -- but not at the breakneck speed Pruitt pointed to on "Meet the Press."

That sector, which President Donald Trump prioritizes in stump speeches and other appearances, added an impressive 7,000 jobs in May, Pruitt said.

But the boom isn’t actually that earth-shattering in the open face pits and other mines of coal country.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics says the mining sector writ large gained 6,600 jobs between April and May, based on seasonally adjusted figures. Oil and gas mining jobs jumped by 600, and coal jobs by 400. Metal ore and non-metallic mining took big hits.

Mining support activity jobs gained nearly 8,000 over the month. Support jobs include financial advisers, software developers and a wide range of other work. 

More promisingly, coal jobs have increased by 1,200 over the past year, the BLS says.

Still, Pruitt praised Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, saying the move will spur mining and other industries.

“We need solid hydrocarbons stored on site to call draw down upon for peak demand and also threats to our grid,” he said. “This was a decision that was right for this country from a jobs perspective, an economy perspective and an environmental prospective.”