The Environmental Protection Agency meant to include a laudatory quote from coal industry supporter Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) in its news release Thursday about President Trump's recent executive order on energy independence. Instead, a quote from Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) — who did not support Trump's order rolling back several Obama-era policies addressing climate change — got sent out.
The quote, incorrectly attributed to Capito, was a far cry from laudatory:
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. Today's executive order calls into question America's credibility and our commitment to tackling the greatest environmental challenge of our lifetime. With the world watching, President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have chosen to shirk our responsibility, disregard clear science, and undo the significant progress our country has made to ensure we leave a better, more sustainable planet for generations to come. [Carper, via the EPA]
The EPA quickly sent out a revised version of the news release that included Capito's actual quote praising Trump for keeping his "promises" and advancing "environmentally responsible policies that grow the economy." Trump's order, signed Tuesday, reversed a ban on new coal leases on federal land and ordered the EPA to review the Clean Power Plan.
The EPA explained the mix-up happened because "an internal draft was mistakenly sent with a quote that belonged to Senator Carper but was wrongly attributed to Senator Capito." "We apologize for the error and are making sure that our process is improved as we build our team," EPA spokesman John Konkus said in a statement.