Report: Trump Team Backtracks On Order To Remove EPA Climate Site

President-elect Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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Following reports that the Trump administration had ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to take down its website on climate change, the administration reversed its order and will let the site remain active for now, Inside EPA reported Wednesday.

Reuters reported early Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s team directed the agency to remove its climate page website that includes research on climate change and data on carbon emissions, citing two unnamed EPA employees.

Inside EPA reported later on Wednesday that the Trump team currently running the EPA has “agreed to stand down” on its order to remove the climate change site. The source had told Inside EPA Tuesday night that the Trump team had planned to remove the site as soon as Wednesday.

Though the Trump administration has halted plans to remove the site for now, the Office of General Counsel has been ordered to review the potential impact of removing the website, Inside EPA reported.

The website remains online, but the Trump team has already begun removing certain climate data from the EPA website, according to Inside EPA.

In a Wednesday interview with The Hill, a spokesman for Trump’s “beachhead” team currently running the EPA’s transition, Doug Ericksen, indicated that the Trump administration does not have plans to permanently remove the climate change website. But he said they are reviewing “editorial” content on the EPA’s website.

“We’re looking at scrubbing it up a bit, putting a little freshener on it, and getting it back up to the public,” Ericksen told The Hill.

Ericksen also said that the Office of General Counsel would “looking at any legal constraints regarding places where people do business on the web page.”

The reports on the EPA’s climate website follow reporting that the Trump team told the EPA to suspend contracts and grants and directed communications officials at the agency not to send out press releases or put up social media posts.

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