EPA mistakenly criticizes Trump’s executive order

EPA mistakenly criticizes Trump’s executive order
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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) apologized Thursday after mistakenly sending a news release that criticized President Trump’s executive order on climate change policies.

In the release, the EPA included quotes praising Trump’s Tuesday order to start undoing former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe House Judiciary Committee's fundamental choice Teaching black children to read is an act of social justice Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE’s climate actions, but it misattributed a negative statement to Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoGOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements ICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Congress braces for chaotic December MORE (R-W.Va.).

“With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand. Walking away from the Clean Power Plan and other climate initiatives, including critical resiliency projects is not just irresponsible — it’s irrational,” it quoted Capito as saying.

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“Today’s executive order calls into question America’s credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime."

However, that statement actually came from Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperLobbying World Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies Democrats give Warren's 'Medicare for All' plan the cold shoulder MORE (Del.), the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee and a harsh critic of Trump’s environmental agenda.

“Sen. Carper is happy to lend his words to a good cause,” a Carper spokeswoman said.

Capito, by contrast, cheered Trump’s order on Tuesday.

“Stopping this disastrous plan will preserve America’s coal industry, expand our manufacturing renaissance that is reliant upon affordable energy, and protect American families from unprecedented hikes in their electric bills,” she said in a statement

Capito attended the signing ceremony Tuesday, and Trump thanked her in his speech.

The EPA sent out a corrected version of the release later Thursday morning, with Capito’s actual quote.

EPA spokesman John Konkus said the agency’s press office accidentally sent a draft version of the release.

“We apologize for the error and are making sure that our process is improved as we build our team,” he said.

The mistake came amid a rift between many of the EPA’s nonpolitical career employees and the political leaders appointed by Trump, including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Some EPA employees have made their objections known, including through a campaign to lobby the Senate against Pruitt’s confirmation.

An EPA scientist explained his concerns in a letter to The New York Times published Wednesday.

“I am very saddened by what I see these days under an E.P.A. administrator whose role it is to dismantle the agency that he leads,” wrote Michael Kravitz, who works in Cincinnati.