Department Of The Interior Scrubs ‘Climate Change’ Page

Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke
|
April 27, 2017 4:58 p.m.

At some point between Feb. 25 and April 26, the Department of the Interior scrubbed nearly any mention of climate change from its webpage on the topic.

What was once a vigorous endorsement of the scientific consensus that the Earth is warming as a result of human activity — “Climate change affects every corner of the American continent. It is making droughts drier and longer, floods more dangerous and hurricanes more severe,” the webpage used to read — has now been whittled down to a single, vanilla paragraph:

“The impacts of climate change have led the Department to focus on how we manage our nation’s public lands and resources. The Department of the Interior contributes sound scientific research to address this and other environmental challenges.”

The department has yet to respond to TPM’s request for comment on the change, first reported by Vice’s Motherboard.

The publication noted similar incidents of sanitization since Trump’s inauguration at the EPA, whitehouse.gov and a regulatory page belonging to the Bureau of Land Management.

The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, which tracks changes to government websites, flagged the removal on that page, in the new administration’s first week, of rules on oil and gas extraction.

Climate change information on other agencies within the Department of Interior, including the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management, National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, appears relatively untouched.

Politico reported on March 29 that a supervisor at the Energy Department’s Office for International Climate and Clean Energy had instructed staff not to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written communications, though a department spokesperson denied there had been any official change.

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