Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website -sources

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By Valerie Volcovici | WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump’s
administration has instructed the Environmental Protection
Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, two
agency employees told Reuters, the latest move by the newly
minted leadership to erase ex-President Barack Obama’s climate
change initiatives.

The employees were notified by EPA officials on Tuesday that
the administration had instructed EPA’s communications team to
remove the website’s climate change page, which contains links
to scientific global warming research, as well as detailed data
on emissions. The page is could go down as early as Wednesday,
the sources said.

“If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on
climate change will disappear,” one of the EPA staffers told
Reuters, who added some employees were scrambling to save some
of the information housed on the website, or convince the Trump
administration to preserve parts of it.

The sources asked not to be named because they were not
authorized to speak to the media.

A Trump administration official did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.

The order comes as Trump’s administration has moved to curb
the flow of information from several government agencies who
oversee environmental issues since last week, in actions that
appeared designed to tighten control and discourage dissenting
views.

The moves have reinforced concerns that Trump, a climate
change doubter, could seek to sideline scientific research
showing that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels
contributes to global warming, as well as the career staffers at
the agencies that conduct much of this research.

Myron Ebell, who helped guide the EPA’s transition after
Trump was elected in November until he was sworn in last week,
said the move was not surprising.

“My guess is the web pages will be taken down, but the links
and information will be available,” he said.

The page includes links to the EPA’s inventory of greenhouse
gas emissions, which contains emissions data from individual
industrial facilities as well as the multiagency Climate Change
Indicators report, which describes trends related to the causes
and effects of climate change.

The Trump administration’s recently appointed team to guide
the post-Obama transition has drawn heavily from the energy
industry lobby and pro-drilling think tanks, according to a list
of the newly introduced 10-member team.

Trump appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a
longtime foe of the EPA who has led 14 lawsuits against it, as
the agency’s administrator. The Senate environment committee
held a tense seven-hour confirmation hearing for Pruitt last
week. No vote on his nomination has been scheduled yet.



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