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Hey, did you hear that the EPA is going to have to hire 230,000 government bureaucrats in order to manage its burdensome new greenhouse gas regulations?

If you did, you may have thought to yourself, “Hmmm. That seems a little far-fetched. Especially considering the EPA only has 17,000 employees now.”

And you’d be correct to be skeptical, because it’s a myth, as Media Matters explains in great detail. But that’s not stopping certain media outlets from running with it anyway.

The myth originates in a Daily Caller post by Matthew Boyle, which misinterprets an EPA court brief on the impact of proposed climate rules. The 230,000 number refers to an outlier scenario that the EPA avoided by applying standards only to the largest polluters. Boyle, however, gets it completely backwards:

But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.

Despite being debunked by Media Matters and dismissed by an EPA spokesman as “comically wrong,” the story remains on the Daily Caller website, as well as the National Review and Fox Nation. The myth was also repeated on Fox News and continues to bounce around on Twitter and other social media channels.

UPDATE: Politico reports that the editor for the Daily Caller is sticking by the story, on the grounds that “the EPA is well-known for expanding its reach.”

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

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