Under Pressure: Coal Industry Rhetoric and Neoliberalism
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Faced with a "war on coal," the always-looming "threat of regulation," and imminent "economic collapse," how does one of the world's largest and most powerful industries respond? Under Pressure seeks to answer that question by examining five rhetorical strategies used by the US coal industry to secure its interests in the face of shifting energy markets and regulatory policies. These powerful but previously unnamed rhetorical moves include Industrial Apocalyptic, Corporate Ventriloquism, the Technological Shell Game, the Hypocrite's Trap, and Energy Utopia. These strategies are indicative of the industry's complex and at times contradictory engagement with neolibral principles—market rationality, corporate social responsibility, and individualism—that often foreclose meaningful and effective democratic engagement with environmental crises. As the coal industry has become the leading target for those seeking more aggressive action to mitigate climate change, their corporate advocacy may foreshadow rhetorical strategies available to other industries as they manage similar economic and cultural shifts.
Schneider, Jen; Schwarze, Steve; Bsumek, Peter K.; and Peeples, Jennifer, "Under Pressure: Coal Industry Rhetoric and Neoliberalism" (2016). Faculty Authored Books. 459.