The Trump Administration has removed links and references to “climate change” from a key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. The website was previously entitled “Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments” and is now named “Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments.”
Fifteen mentions of climate change were removed from the main page. Links to crucial resources for state, local and tribal governments were moved and made less accessible. These changes were noted by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, a network of academics and nonprofits working to address threats to environmental and energy policy and to the scientific research infrastructure. According to a spokesman for the EPA, the resources are still available through an archive, which has a link at the top of the site.
If nothing else, this move is consistent. It is consistent with the administration’s overt strategy to actively put industry interests before the health of people, communities, and the planet. It is consistent with their propensity for obscuring and erecting barriers to information as the changes to the website were not announced and the administration gave no reason for the changes. And it is consistent with the interests of donors that have supported the administration, who have given over $20 million to fight climate change research.
This move may seem like small potatoes. But it’s crucial to see all the ways protections for the environment are being chipped away. By obscuring information and washing an EPA website of the term “climate change,” the administration continues to send a clear anti-environmental message. For now, states, cities, and tribal governments must look elsewhere (or dig into EPA archives) for resources, coordination, and guidance on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate change.