On Tuesday, President Donald Trump visited the Environmental Protection Agency, where he signed an executive order dismantling key Obama-era policies aimed at fight climate change. On Thursday morning, the EPA sent out a press release highlighting some wonderful praise that Trump's order has received from groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, and—of course—Republican politicians. But the top quote in the EPA's email, attributed to Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), had an unexpected message:
(Hat tip to Pat Ambrosio).
This is obviously not the glowing review Trump was hoping to get from a coal-state Republican senator. Alas, it appears that someone at the EPA screwed up. That statement actually comes from a Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper (Del.)—not from Capito. If the EPA press release continued to quote from Carper, this would have been the next line:
Trump recognized Capito, the West Virginia senator, multiple times in his speech at the EPA Tuesday. He also declared that coal is clean. At the same event, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared the so-called "war on coal" to be over.
The EPA has now sent out a revised version of the press release, correctly quoting Capito's praise of Trump's order. And this time, the agency even spelled her name correctly.
Update: An EPA spokesperson emailed me, "An internal draft was mistakenly sent with a quote that belonged to Senator Carper but was wrongly attributed to Senator Capito, whom we originally meant to quote. We apologize for the error and are making sure that our process is improved as we build our team."
I also reached out to some environmental groups and Carper's office over email for comment.
"Senator Carper is happy to lend his words to a good cause," the senator's spokesman said.
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said, "That quote is the first true thing Scott Pruitt's office has put out yet."
"MWAHAHAH," 350.org's communications director Jamie Henn began. "The Trump Administration's actions are so outrageous and counter-intuitive that even they can't keep up with the lies that they're spinning out to the public. For once, Capito sounds like she's right on: these executive orders are reckless, irrational, and wildly damaging."