Reuters reported this morning that the Trump administration issued a directive to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to scrap the climate change page from the EPA.gov website. The EPA is the government agency that enforces environmental laws and regulations that are passed in Congress.
This reporting follows emails sent yesterday, by the EPA, postponing its long standing “Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Webinar”.
The registration link above for the rescheduled webinar functioned properly and registration was possible; however, it is unclear if this cancellation is related to the new administration’s directive. It is also unclear if the “Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Webinar” is considered to be climate change-related under the directive. There were no future webinars scheduled on the EPA’s climate change website.
The information about the climate change page takedown was given to Reuters by two employees within the agency—who asked to remain unnamed—the new administration did not release a statement on the takedown.
EPA grants as well as contracts have been suspended until future notice.
According to USA Today EPA employees were also instructed to cease external communication with the public, including social media posts, and EPA grants as well as contracts have been suspended until future notice.
Myron Ebell, who led the Trump administration’s EPA transition team, stated, “[The Trump Administration is] trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen…they want to make sure to look at them first.”
The Huffington Post published a story quoting an employee at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a sub-agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as stating:
“The HHS guidance instructs HHS Operating Divisions to hold on publishing new rules or guidance in the Federal Register or other public forums and discussing them with public officials until the Administration has had an opportunity to review them.”
Other government agencies that have been reportedly subject to recent “gag orders” include the National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). South Dakota’s Badlands National Park defied the gag order imposed upon it by the new administration and tweeted several facts about climate change before, but then deleted them.
Those on social media who support the rogue tweets are now referring to Badlands National Park as “Badasslands National Park” and using the #badasslands hashtag.
It is unclear if the NASA or NOAA will be impacted by similar directives.
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