EPA website redirect page replaces scientific information on climate change, April 30, 2017Enlarge Photo
On Saturday, tens of thousands of people joined a Science March in Washington, D.C., to support use of data-based science to set government policy on climate change.
The day before, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed detailed climate data and scientific information because it appeared to conflict with the "beliefs" of the Trump Administration and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.
"Our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” said an agency spokesperson, referring to the deleted information on climate science as "outdated language."
The removal of the climate-science information was personally approved by administrator Pruitt, according to a detailed account in The Washington Post.
Pruitt is a denier of accepted climate science who sued the agency he now runs more than a dozen times while he was attorney general of Oklahoma to prevent it from enforcing emission limits on the state's powerful fossil-fuel extraction industry.
He also copied and pasted language provided by fossil-fuel companies and submitted it as official state policy in documents supporting the state's efforts to overturn EPA regulations.
Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt, 2014Enlarge Photo
The EPA page on climate change—updated numerous times over more than 20 years as climate science research grew—now redirects to a notice saying, "This page is being updated.".
That page contains the following language and links:
Thank you for your interest in this topic. We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA's priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt.
If you're looking for an archived version of this page, you can find it on the January 19 snapshot.
The linked statement from the agency's public affairs office noted that a screenshot of the prior approach would remain, to "comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures."
It said the changes were part of a comprehensive process to update all agency websites that would be "updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership."
Smog over Louisville, 1972 [From EPA Documerica series]Enlarge Photo
Science contradicts Pruitt
As the Post notes, some of the pages that were removed directly contradicted public statements by Pruitt.
Those included numerous cases in which he claimed that while climate change may be real, the contribution of human emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to that change were unclear and in dispute.
That is not the scientific consensus, nor is that belief used to make policy in any other country.