EPA.gov pages that previously provided information about climate change have been changed from claiming that they are "updating" to an error message that reads, "We want to help you find what you are looking for," as revealed by a report released this week by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative. The change indicates that information related climate change is not being “updated,” but removed entirely.
In April 2017, the EPA put out a press release announcing that EPA.gov would be changing to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”
“The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency's current efforts,” the April 2017 press release reads. “The changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures.”
At that point, the EPA’s climate change subdomains were removed and were replaced by a page that said that the subdomains were being “updated.” The pages remained like this until the night between October 16 and 17, when the pages were updated to read “We want to help you find what you are looking for.”
There is no information related to climate change on any of the EPA’s climate change subdomains, and per the language of the EPA’s April 2017 press release, this reflects the priorities of the Trump Administration.
This is far from the first time that the Trump administration has removed information relating to climate change and environmental hazards. Shortly after Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, all references to climate change were removed from the White House website. In April of that year, the Department of the Interior all references to climate change from its public-facing website. The Federal Emergency Management Agency does not even mention climate change in its five year plan released earlier this year.
The Trump administration has also taken tangible steps toward undermining environmental regulations. For instance, earlier this year, the Trump Administration revoked state waivers to the national Clean Air Act that allows states such as California, a major automobile manufacturer, to enforce stricter policies than the Clean Air Act Demands.