The Environmental Protection Agency has officially removed the sub website which represents climate change. And it only took 100 days. I guess Donald Trump can add that feather to his cap? I don’t want to get into what he did or didn’t do in those first 100 days, but there is no love loss in this regard. He has been strongly against the idea of climate change. In fact, the only reason he put Scott Pruitt in charge was to dismantle the agency. But the Trump Administration is citing a different reason for the website removal. What is the reason you ask? To eliminate outdated data. Indicating that there is a lot of information on the website from the 90s. Are we going to buy that?
Back in January, the EPA got at least three requests under the Freedom of Information Act, requiring the agency to respond to the request publicly. Which triggered the agency to have to post that information on their website. But that doesn’t mean the new information is going to actually be updated. Or will it? The reason that this is happening is because Trump is trying to roll back a lot of the Obama-era environmental protection. Which indicates that he sees the environment as bad news for business. I’m not sure if you could make the statement that he doesn’t believe in climate change. But you could make the statement that he doesn’t see measures protecting the environment as profitable.
We have seen this with the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump is completely on board with it, but I don’t think he understands the impacts. Even though the oil is coming from Alberta, the climate change implications are huge for the United States as well. Further, he isn’t talking to the people he should be talking to about getting the pipeline installed. He’s saying that he “needs” to talk to these stakeholders, but he isn’t actually having those meetings. Which tells me that he doesn’t care. And you should be getting that message as well. When it comes to caring, I’m specifically referring to the environment.
The purpose of the EPA is to ensure:
- all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
- national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
- federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
- all parts of society — communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments — have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
- the United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.
While the entire division isn’t being dismantled, it makes you wonder what is next? If we look at the above information, which was taken from the EPA website, it looks like Trump is a climate change denier. Take note of the fourth bullet point. It essentially says that the EPA provides data so that everyone can access data. Not necessarily to convince you that climate change exists, but to provide accurate information. So if you are a government agency in Nebraska and you want to know what implications there are for the environment if you agree to the Keystone Pipeline, you can get that data from the EPA’s website.
Again, that’s not necessarily to demonstrate any kind of bias, but so the government can make an informed decision. That’s called being open and transparent. Is that ultimately what Trump is trying to take away? Conservative governments tend to be in favour of smaller, less regulated government. And maybe that’s the angle trump is coming at it from, but I would doubt that. My guess is that he is trying to take information away from citizens and prevent them from being informed. Or at least that’s one of the reasons for doing it. Perhaps not believing climate change is a thing is another reason. To me, however, this is a slippery slope and I’m curious to see how far he can push it.