She said it took a long, sustained effort to lay the groundwork for 1997 rules that set first-time air quality standards for so-called fine particulate matter and revised ozone standards.
“In that time period there really was a conversation, a narrative with the American people that got created,” Browner said. “That is much harder to do today, in my opinion, with the 24-7 news cycle.”
Current EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, in an interview with the online environmental magazine Grist this month, also critiqued today's media landscape and the way her opponents navigate it.
“The battle today is about who can get the screaming headline out first. Because, unfortunately, the way the media works, the screaming headline lives forever, and then you spend forever trying to get a headline even half as big that says, 'oh, that wasn’t true,'” Jackson said in the interview published June 11.
“So whether it’s climate change and the myriad reports about that, whether it’s people in rural America who’ve been told all manner of untruths about the work we’re doing — whether it’s that we’re going to regulate farm dust further, or that we’re going to regulate spilled milk, no matter how many times we say it, because their main sources of information are not really being truthful in how they’re giving them information, we spend an awful lot of time trying to explain to people what we’re really doing,” she said, adding that these woes are “emblematic of how folks have learned to use this new media world.”
Obama’s environment and energy agenda has faced its share of speed bumps — and roadblocks — over the last three years.
Climate legislation collapsed on Capitol Hill, and the White House pitch for a national “clean” electricity standard is going nowhere in Congress. Obama, facing powerful industry opposition, last year pulled the plug on new revisions to ozone rules.
However, the administration has advanced new standards to curb air toxics from coal-fired power plants, separate rules to curb smog-forming pollutants from power plants, and also toughened auto mileage rules, among other steps.