85 Percent of Network Coverage of EPA Regulations Ignore Economic Impact

New EPA coal regulations could kill half a million jobs and cost more than $1 trillion. Rather than focusing on these enormous consequences, ABC, CBS and NBC spent 85 percent of their time ignoring the economic impact. The networks instead touted the proposals as an "ambitious” plan to combat “Earth-warming pollution.”

On June 2, the EPA unveiled regulations that require states to cut carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030. The announcement resulted in swift opposition from conservatives and coal advocates.

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The Investor’s Business Daily reported Senator Jim Inhofe’s, R-Okla., analysis which predicted more than $1 trillion in increased electricity costs, compliance costs and “de facto tax hikes.” Similarly, the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal predicted more than 500,000 jobs lost and an increase in electricity prices by 20 percent. Even the EPA admitted that electricity prices would rise by 6.5 percent over the next six years, according to the Daily Caller.

But the broadcast networks rarely addressed these concerns. They covered the issue for almost 6 minutes (5 minutes, 55 seconds) on the night of the report but only 51 seconds discussing the economic impact. Even when the networks addressed it, they downplayed it by emphasizing “climate change” and renewable energy.

In a week's worth of news boradcasts, ABC, CBS and NBC only ever acknowledged the new EPA regulations on June 2, the same day that they were announced.

When CBS “Evening News” interviewed Mike Duncan of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity on June 2, correspondent Chip Reid even tried to rebut Duncan’s comments. Duncan warned that electricity prices would increase and that regulations would potentially destroy 500,000 jobs. Reid followed this interview with a lengthy 35 second segment on renewable energy beginning, “The White House says job losses would be more than offset by renewable energy.”

Instead of discussing the economy, ABC, CBS and NBC focused on praising the EPA’s new limits and promoting fears over climate change. ABC anchor Amy Robach heralded the regulations as a “major step to tackle climate change” and “cut Earth-warming pollution” on “Good Morning America” on June 2.

Similarly, on June 2, CBS “This Morning” co-anchor Norah O’Donnell described the EPA’s proposed rules as “a ground-breaking plan to cut power plant emissions blamed for global warming.”

CBS also gave voice to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy’s the extreme climate alarmism. “Evening News” on June 2 featured a clip of her declaring “If we do nothing, in our grandkids’ lifetimes temperatures could rise ten degrees, and seas could rise by four feet.” No scientists were brought on to discuss this global warming hypothesis.

Sean Long
Sean Long is a former writer for MRC Business.