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 ObamaGovernment's misguided holiday to celebrate itself Virginia can be better than this Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket MORE’s climate actions, but it misattributed a negative statement to Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants GOP senator: Border deal is 'a very good compromise' Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock 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 CarperDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House 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.