The Environmental Protection Agency unloaded Tuesday on the New York Times, accusing the newspaper of “extreme bias” for running “an interactive hit list” spotlighting Trump administration officials with past ties to the fossil-fuel and agriculture industries.
“Today, The New York Times continued its march to irrelevance through extreme bias, launching an interactive hit list on the Trump Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),” said the agency in a statement. “The frame of the piece is intended to negatively portray current EPA officials’ private and public sector careers prior to joining the Administration.”
The NYT article focused on 20 “key” Trump administration officials — nine from the EPA, seven from the Interior Department and three from Energy — with “vast power over the protection of American air and water.”
“Under the Trump administration, the people appointed to those positions overwhelmingly used to work in the fossil fuel, chemical and agriculture industries,” said the article, “Who Controls Trump’s Environmental Policy?”
The officials included EPA administrator Scott Wheeler, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.
— Defend Our Future | #ClimateCrisis 🏿🏽 (@DefendOurFuture) January 14, 2020
In a statement on the “hit piece,” EPA said that 130 political appointees have been hired “of all kinds of experience and seniority.”
“Under the Trump Administration, the focus has been to employ staff who are best suited to implement the President’s agenda and fulfill the mission of EPA,” said the agency. “It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this administration has brought on staff who have experience dealing with the Agency and were instrumental in improving environmental results throughout the country, after the previous administration’s focus on virtue signaling rather than implementing legal rules.”
The Washington Times has reached out to the New York Times for comment.
This isn’t the first time the Grey Lady has been accused of targeting the EPA. Last year, the newspaper issued a major correction on a story about then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s daughter. In 2015, the Times addressed complaints that it had run a “hit piece” on the EPA’s attempt to generate public support for a drinking-water rule.
President Trump has made it a priority to cut federal regulations, including environmental rules. Earlier this year, the administration repealed the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature climate-change policy, and replace it with the Affordable Clean Energy rule.
U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions dropped in 2019 by 2.1%, according to the Rhodium Group, as natural gas continued to replace coal in electricity generation. The U.S. has led the world in reducing emissions, which have fallen by about 12% since 2005.