Did Gina McCarthy Declare a ‘War on Coal’? Yes.

by Greg Pollowitz

Media Matters is angry again:

Putting The “War On Coal” In Gina McCarthy’s Mouth
What The Head Of The EPA Actually Said On Real Time With Bill Maher

Conservative media are claiming that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted she is waging a “war on coal” when, in fact, she has consistently stated that the EPA is simply meeting its obligation to serve public health with its new clean power plan.

In an interview with McCarthy on the June 13 edition of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, host Maher said that he has heard that the EPA’s proposed “clean power program,” which will for the first time implement standards for carbon pollution from existing power plants, amounts to “a war on coal,” adding that he “hope[s] it is.” McCarthy responded, “Actually, EPA is all about fighting against pollution and fighting for public health. That’s exactly what this is.” Maher responded “Oh, great.”

The Weekly Standard declared that this meant that McCarthy ”agreed with Bill Maher” that “the Obama administration is engaged in a war on  coal.” National ReviewTwitchy and EHS Today all concurred. However, even the conservative Washington Examiner concluded that “[i]t appears Maher’s glee was premature” after an EPA spokesperson clarified that McCarthy was not agreeing with Maher and has consistently stated that the agency is not waging a “war on coal.”

Media Matters left out a few “conservative” outlets, however. Like Grist:

So McCarthy’s kinda-declaration-of-war comes not a moment too soon. In fact, some would argue that it’s long overdue.

And EcoWatch:

EPA Administrator Declares War on Coal on ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’​

CBS affiliate WYMT-TV in Kentucky:

EPA administrator appears to suggest agency is fighting “war on coal”

Media Matters can play the semantics game all they want to, but the message was received loud and clear — recognized by conservatives AND liberals: The EPA is going to war over coal.