Purging Climate Data From Its Website, The EPA Takes Aim At The Clean Air Act (Video)

It ought to come as no surprise that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) director Scott Pruitt was personally involved in purging information from the EPA website shortly after assuming his new job last year.

According to documents the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) obtained, information about climate change previously published on the agency’s site has been replaced with sites promoting President Trump’s fossil fuel agenda.

Gone also are pages about President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan as well as references to climate change, and climate science.

Would-be visitors to those pages are told “This page is being updated.”

While those pages are archived, they curiously do not appear in an EPA website search.

According to EDF:

“The website purge fits Pruitt’s troubling pattern of ruling EPA under a cloak of secrecy, which is no way to run an agency entrusted with protecting the public health and environment.”

EDF attorney Ben Levitan said in a statement:

“Obscuring information thwarts meaningful public participation in EPA’s work to protect Americans’ health and safety. It reinforces serious concerns that Pruitt has predetermined that he will repeal the Clean Power Plan, and that the current rulemaking process is a sham.”

In October, the EPA issued a four-year “strategy” document that conveniently omits the word “climate.”

EcoWatch reported the EPA effaced more than a dozen mentions of climate change from its website because of “the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to pretend that climate change doesn’t exist.”

Pruitt also threatened to “purgescientists who refuse to kowtow to the fossil fuel industry, and favors oil and gas industry representatives’ views over environmental groups’.

This fog of legerdemain is helping fuel Scott Pruitt’s recent decision to end former President Richard Nixon’s 1970 Clean Air Act.

Nixon’s signature on December 31, 1970 perpetually compelled power plants and factories deemed major polluters to comply with regulations safeguarding their future operations.

Nixon said about the law:

“I think that 1970 will be known as the year of the beginning, in which we really began to move on the problems of clean air and clean water and open spaces for the future generations of America”.

In the ensuing four and a half decades, we have added components to strengthen monitoring and regulating major sources of hazardous pollution, like mercury and lead, once widely poisoning our air and water.

William Wehrum, head of the EPA’s air office, said repealing the “once-in, always-in” policy keeping polluters in check would:

“Reduce regulatory burden for industries and the states, while continuing to ensure stringent and effective controls on hazardous air pollutants.”

Clean air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), John Walke, countered in a statement:

“Rolling back longstanding protections to allow the greatest increase in hazardous air pollutants in our nation’s history is unconscionable.”

This disinformation war ensuing between the Trump administration and the environment has one goal: eliminate consumer protections so corporate polluters are free once again to wreak havoc on our air, wind, and water for cold, hard profit.

Image credit: gizmodo.com

Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.