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“Coal Under Pressure” stages the authors’ investigation of rhetorical strategies used by the US coal industry to advance its interests in the face of growing economic and environmental pressures. The authors identify five rhetorical strategies in coal industry advocacy: industrial apocalyptic, corporate ventriloquism, technological shell game, hypocrite’s trap, and energy utopia. They argue that the corporate advocacy of the coal industry appeals to and reinforces neoliberalism, a discourse and set of practices that privilege market rationality and individual freedom and responsibility above all else. The chapter explains why attention to neoliberalism is essential to understanding the rhetoric of the coal industry’s opposition to environmental policy and regulation, and it situates the authors’ research relative to other scholarship on environmental communication and corporate advocacy.
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