The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently promoting its recent environmental rollback using an op-ed published in a news outlet owned by a Republican megadonor.
The column, published by The Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial Board with the headline “There goes another one,” was sent around to journalists by the EPA press office on Thursday.
The editorial called this week’s rollback of Obama-era clean water rules “another administrative success story in its battle against the overweening administrative state.”
That opinion runs counter to that of many experts, who have warned the recent rule change would allow for greater pollution of critical waterways across the country.
Now well beyond parody, Trump @EPA forwards editorial from newspaper owned by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. (Last month Trump gave Adelson's wife the Presidential Medal of Freedom.) pic.twitter.com/TTjnIaf2ae
— Michael Hawthorne (@scribeguy) December 13, 2018
— Rebecca Leber (@rebleber) December 13, 2018
The Review-Journal is owned by American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson who, with his wife, donated $55 million this year to groups dedicated to securing Republican control of the House and Senate. Last month, President Donald Trump awarded Adelson’s wife the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Adelson also had a close relationship with the agency during former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt’s tenure. As Politico reported in March, Pruitt met with Israeli company Water-Gen at the “request of Adelson.” Shortly after, the agency signed a research agreement with the company.
While Pruitt was head of the EPA, the agency was known for its antagonistic relationship with the press. It would frequently cite articles by the conservative Heartland Institute and the Daily Caller in attempts to promote the agency’s controversial work.
It appears that, despite other efforts to thaw tensions, things haven’t changed much under the leadership of acting administrator — and former coal lobbyist — Andrew Wheeler, who took over the top job after Pruitt resigned this past summer.
This is the second time in less than a month that an EPA press release has raised eyebrows. At the end of November, the EPA used a Daily Caller article in an effort to undermine the National Climate Assessment — a report mandated by Congress and authored by many government scientists.
In a news release sent on November 28 and labeled “Fact-Check,” the agency cited the news outlet, which has long been associated with promoting climate science denial, quoting excerpts from its article to support Wheeler’s false claims that the climate report was directed by the Obama administration to examine only the “worst case” scenario — a statement swiftly debunked by scientists at the time.