EPA pushing back against NY Times hit piece
An article in the New York Times saying the EPA has cut back on enforcement against the oil and gas industry is being challenged by the agency.
NYT reporter Eric Lipton wrote President Donald Trump's administration "has adopted a more lenient approach than the previous two administrations – Democratic and Republican – toward polluters," based on data given to him by a former President Barack Obama administration official.
"Confidential internal EPA documents show that the enforcement slowdown coincides with major policy changes ordered by Mr. Pruitt's team after pleas from oil and gas industry executives," Lipton reported.
Lipton also claimed that Administrator Scott Pruitt took away regional officials' "authority to order certain air and water pollution tests, known as requests for information, without receiving permission from Washington."
Overall, the article takes a negative tone against Pruitt, and overwhelmingly quotes Pruitt critics.
EPA fired back, saying in a press release there "is not only no reduction in EPA's commitment to ensure compliance with our nation's environmental laws, but a greater emphasis on compliance in the first place."
The EPA said Lipton's account "distorted the facts" on its enforcement efforts.
Pruitt "has not directed EPA staff to decrease their enforcement efforts and no request to gather enforcement information has been denied," EPA said in its release on Sunday.
It's not enough for the Times that Pruitt is enforcing the law. According to the Times, the EPA must punish the oil and gas industry for existing in the first place. That goes for just about any business in America. Liberals believe that the EPA exists to annoy, harass, and regulate to extinction several industries they believe don't comport with their vision of environmental purity. Simply enforcing existing laws just doesn't cut it for the left.
There has been no more out-of-control federal agency than the EPA. The agency's recent power-grab of America's waterways is a prime example. The "Waters of the USA" regulations would have placed 90% of water in the U.S. under the EPA's control – including water on private property. The agency's ever expanding interpretation of the Clean Air and Water Acts have gone far beyond anything dreamed of when the laws were passed in the 1970s.
Pruitt is bringing some much needed sanity back to the EPA, and the New York Times doesn't like it. The people at the Times twist the facts to fit a false narrative that the agency is trying to poison us and is in the pocket of the oil and gas industries.
We'd expect nothing less from the Times, whose staffers themselves are in the pockets of green interests.