By Brian Kahn
2 February 2017
(Climate Central) – The Environmental Protection Agency’s website has begun to transform under the Trump administration.
A group of researchers have found what are likely the first steps in a major overhaul of a site that’s been closely watched since President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site.
A mention of carbon pollution as a cause of climate change has also been removed and adaptation has been emphasized, indicating an attempt to separate the cause of climate change from the response. Some of the changes — like removing mentions to programs and task forces that have run their course as well as broken links — are housekeeping, according to an agency statement.
Putting the web page changes together with Trump's statements dismissing climate change gives a clearer picture of his vision of "America First." It likely signals that the U.S. will be stepping back from addressing global climate change. And by removing the information, it could give Trump and Scott Pruitt, his nominee to head the EPA, more leeway to decimate funding for programs they see as incompatible with “America First.”
“If the public is unaware of partnerships depending on the EPA, it may be easier to shrink the EPA without raising as much concern,” said Gretchen Gehrke, a data quality manager at Public Lab and a member of the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI). [more]