Trump Forces EPA Studies To Be Reviewed By Staff First
Sometimes when I close my eyes I can hear the screams emitting from the pits of Hell.
Just kidding, it's America. And those screams belong to some of our greatest minds: scientists!
President Donald Trump is on his sixth day as president and he's already making a big splash.
I say splash, of course, because that's the sound a polar bear makes when his final polar ice cap melts and he falls into the ocean due to global warming, which Donald Trump denies exists.
In Trump's America, employees at the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency have been told not to release press releases, publish any blogs or post anything on social media temporarily (until possibly Friday).
During Trump's campaign, he said he wanted to curb environmental regulations that he said hurt business.
He also tweeted climate change isn't real in 2012, writing,
[T]he concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.
This, as anyone with a brain knows, is not true. Global warming is very real.
Studies and data performed by scientists at the EPA will be scrutinized by the Trump administration before they are released.
But it's OK, because it's 2017, and science is "alternative facts."
These "reviews" extend to all existing content on the federal agency's website. They also include details of scientific evidence that show Earth's climate is warming and man-made carbon emissions are causing this.
Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump's transition team at the EPA, said,
We're taking a look at everything on a case-by-case basis, including the web page and whether climate stuff will be taken down. Obviously with a new administration coming in, the transition time, we'll be taking a look at the web pages and the Facebook pages and everything else involved here at EPA.
The EPA's 14-page scientific integrity document, which was enacted during the Obama administration, says scientific studies should be given to the public, media and Congress "uncompromised by political or other interference."
It also prohibits "managers and other Agency leadership from intimidating or coercing scientists to alter scientific data, findings or professional opinions or inappropriately influencing scientific advisory boards."
While this ban may only last until Friday, scientists are still worried about the contract and grant freeze, which may risk certain states losing essential funds for drinking water protection, hazardous waste oversight and many other programs.
Jared Blumenfeld, who served as EPA's regional administrator for California and the Pacific Northwest until last year, said,
Ericksen and these other folks that have been brought in ... have basically put a hold on everything. The level of mismanagement being exercised during this transition is startling and the impact on the public is alarming.