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Letter to the Editor: Energy companies profit from climate change denials

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Monday, January 7, 2019

After reading the most recent letter from Julia Manning, it seems she has disdain for wealthy people because 20 of the wealthiest congressional districts in the U.S. went to the Democrats. But she supports Donald Trump, who is a wealthy man.

She also supports Fox News, which has some very wealthy entertainers with annual salaries in the millions. According to an online news report from Cheatsheet.com, Bret Baier is paid $7 million a year and Shepard Smith earns $10 million a year. The website did not list Sean Hannity’s annual salary, but it said he had a net worth of $80 million. The website also stated that Bill O’Reilly had a net worth of $85 million and a salary of $20 million a year before he was fired for sexual harassment.

These Fox News entertainers are not looking out for the little guy. They are just out to make sensational comments that will boost their ratings and promote the politics of their owners. They know that controversial positions get everyone angry. Fighting and arguments draw in more viewers and more money for the network.

Ms. Manning quotes Stephen Moore, a columnist for Townhall, another Fox show. This Townhall report basically claims that the climate scientists are cooking the books concerning climate change. She says “a lot of people are getting really really rich off of the climate change industry.” Not very factual.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, scientists and engineers earn between $76,000 and $190,000, which doesn’t make them rich. Salaries for scientists and engineers are minimal compared to salaries of oil and gas executives. Forbes magazine published a list of oil company executives in 2006. At that time, the lowest paid CEO got $2.3 million total compensation, and the highest paid CEO got $80.73 million total compensation.

According to salary.com, the CEO for Exxon Mobil got $14.14 million in compensation, three other senior vice presidents got more than $11 million each in 2017 and the CEO for Marathon Oil got $9.8 million. Other websites reported earnings for other gas and oil chief executive officers: BP’s CEO got $19.6 million; Chevron’s CEO got $24.8 million; and Valero’s CEO got $7.3 million.

It’s possible that oil and gas company executives are behind this report from Townhall. They have the most to lose if we limit usage of their products. In any case, we shouldn’t believe the Fox entertainment reports, which are merely designed to boost ratings and promote a political agenda.

Judith Mesko

Rocky Mount

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