Susan Walsh / AP
The Trump administration just gave the Environmental Protection Agency's website a climate-change-skeptic makeover. Several agency websites including detailed information about climate change research and its causes have been deleted, the agency announced late last night.
Why it matters: It's the first time in 20 years these sites have been removed from public view. And it signals the agency's clear partisan shift as they only want to "reflect EPA's priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator [Scott] Pruitt." This move provides a less comprehensive review of climate science information and how it is affecting the US — something past administrations have provided, even if skeptical of the data.
Why now: It was previously announced that the EPA climate change website would be taken down, but that didn't happen immediately. While it's unclear what inspired the move now, the decision came just hours before thousands participated in a climate march protest against the Trump administration's proposed changes to the EPA.
What they're saying:
J.P. Freire, the agency's associate administrator for public affairs, said in a
to WaPo: "We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we're protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law."
Don't forget: The EPA website experienced similar partisan pulling under George W. Bush, who ordered a temporary freeze on revisions to the climate science sites and asked that the White House review any proposed changes. However, Bush's revisions didn't result in significant changes to the scientific content listed on the sites.
The agency's future: It's led by Scott Pruitt, who made his career as Oklahoma's attorney general by suing the agency 13 times. Pruitt previously said the environment would be just "fine" without it and he approved removed the climate science websites.