WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The website of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA.gov, is getting a makeover to reflect the views of President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency said.
“As EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” it said in a statement.
Trump, a climate change doubter, campaigned on a pledge to boost the U.S. oil and gas drilling and coal mining industries by slashing regulation. He also promised to pull Washington out of a global pact to fight climate change.
The first page to be updated is one that reflects Trump’s executive order on energy independence, which calls for a review of the Clean Power Plan put into place by his predecessor, President Barack Obama, the statement said.
“Language associated with the Clean Power Plan, written by the last administration, is out of date,” it said. “Similarly, content related to climate and regulation is also being reviewed.”
The Clean Power Plan aimed to sharply reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation over 25 years, focusing on reductions from coal-burning power plants and increasing the use of renewable energy and energy conservation.
“We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law,” J.P. Freire, associate administrator for public affairs at the agency, said in the statement.
The website changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including proper archiving, so a snapshot of the Obama administration’s website would remain available from the main page, the statement said.
In January, EPA sources told Reuters that administration officials had asked the agency to take down the climate change page on its website, and that EPA staff had pushed back in an effort to convince the administration to preserve it. [L1N1FF00N]
The page includes links to scientific research, emissions data from industrial plants and a multi-agency report that describes trends related to the causes and effects of climate change.
Pruitt led 14 lawsuits against the agency when he was Oklahoma’s attorney general. Last month he said he was not convinced that carbon dioxide from human activity is the main driver of climate change, a position widely embraced by scientists.
(This version of the story has been refiled to change Snapshot, not screenshot, in ninth paragraph)
(Reporting by Eric Walsh and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Bill Trott)