CNN Frets GOP Easing Coal Regs., Shows Footage of EPA's Toxic Mine Spill

On Thursday afternoon, CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper aired footage damaging to the Environmental Protection Agency while fearing the effect of easing regulations of the coal industry. “A big victory for the coal industry today. Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal an Obama-era regulation the industry calls burdensome,” noted Tapper leading into an in-person report by CNN government regulation correspondent Rene Marsh, but the video playing was of a massive toxic spill the EPA was responsible for.

“So, the whole idea behind this is to protect streams from any sort of pollution that could come from coal and the mining industry,” reported Marsh, “Essentially, it required these companies to do checks, data checks to see how many chemicals, what's the level of chemical within these streams, that may be a byproduct from the coal industry, the mining industry.”

Ironically, the video CNN showed as evidence of what future mine pollution could look like was of the EPA’s botched cleanup job at the Gold King Mine in Colorado during the summer of 2015. Proof of the video's origin is evident by the "Durango, Colorado" graphic on the screen. 

Because of the agency’s arrogance, they polluted the Animas River with some three million gallons of toxic mine waste water. The toxic concoction of heavy metals contaminated the water supply of countless communities downstream, through three states, and two rivers. The level of lead in the water was 12,000 times higher than what the government recognizes as normal. And by the way, those statistics are according to CNN’s own reporting on the spill from August 13, 2015.

In addition to botching the cleanup effort at the mine, the agency was abysmally slow in notifying communities of the emergency.

One on the communities damaged the most by their negligence was the Navajo Nation who were not contacted by the EPA for almost two days and were forced to stop watering their crops. In an attempt to make amends, the incompetent EPA sent them tanks of water. But guess what, “some of the water delivered in tanks by the EPA for irrigation had an oily sheen or was discolored.” Again, from CNN’s own reporting

Transcript below: 

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CNN
The Lead
February 2, 2017
4:17:37 PM Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: Welcome back. Sticking with our politics lead, a big victory for the coal industry today. Moments ago, the U.S. Senate voted to repeal an Obama era regulation the industry calls burdensome. CNN government regulation correspondent Rene Marsh joins me now. Rene, obviously there were environmentalists who are very upset about this. What exactly did the measure do?

RENE MARSH: So, the whole idea behind this is to protect streams from any sort of pollution that could come from coal and the mining industry. Essentially, it required these companies to do checks, data checks to see how many chemicals, what's the level of chemical within these streams, that may be a byproduct from the coal industry, the mining industry.

We do know that yesterday the House voted to repeal it and then the Senate a short time ago also voted to repeal this regulation. So, environmentalists obviously very concerned. They're saying “Well, if you're not collecting the data and you're not monitoring the chemicals in the stream, how will you know what the environmental impact will be from mining and the coal industry?”

So, that's the concern there. But on the other side you have the coal industry saying this was too burdensome, it was a financial burden. You know, it was killing jobs within the industry. So, really today, the repealing of this vote, Jake, is seen as a very big win for the coal industry.

TAPPER: The first of many Obama era environmental regulations to go. Likely. Rene Marsh, thank you so much.

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