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The Silencing of the EPA

When it comes to the environment, the new presidential administration leaves a lot to be desired. The president is pro oil and drilling, and is trying to appoint Scott Pruitt, a Climate Change denier, as head of the EPA. Yikes. But more unsettling news has come out in the last few days.

As The Boston Globe reports President Trump institutes media blackout at EPA and as The Washington Post reports Trump administration tells EPA to freeze all grants, contracts.

The freeze on grants and contracts could have any number of unknown effects throughout the country, and is a step no other new administration has taken. While I understand the desire to review agencies, completely freezing them is a dangerous move. This could set precedent for longer periods of freezing the EPA, or any other agency. Many people aren't huge fans of bureaucracy, but these agencies do important work every day, and hindering that helps no one.

However, I am almost more concerned about the media blackout. If agencies can't report what's going on inside of them how are we the people supposed to know what's going on in our government? In the last few years, social media has made amazing advances in giving the public a window to the inner workings of our government. Again, taking that away, even for a short period, sets dangerous precedent. If certain parts of our government aren't allowed to engage with the public directly, it skews the public's view of what is really going on.

Clearly, the EPA is going to be weakened in the next four years. As an environmentalist I am not okay with that. I plan to contact my representatives both on a national and state level, and I encourage you to do the same. I also plan to continue the work I've started in my own life, pushing myself to be greener.
When I started looking into environmental issues, I was glad to see a consensus. Our scientific communities and government in agreement that climate change is real, and we must take steps to protect the Earth. Clearly, that is no longer the case.


Today, while continuing to read different news articles, I came across this passage in The Washington Post: 

Last Friday, the Trump team deleted any reference to global warming on the White House web site. Now they’re going much further. “The White House has ordered the EPA to remove the climate change page from its own website, which contains links to scientific global warming research and detailed data on emissions,” Reuters reports. The page could go dark as early as today. "If the website goes dark, years of work we have done on climate change will disappear," one EPA staffer said, adding that some employees were scrambling overnight to download the information on personal devices so it cannot be deleted.
This goes beyond a momentary blackout of communication. This is actively destroying the scientific information we have about an issue in order to support a political agenda.
We're killing our planet, don't let anyone forget that.


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