Silencing Climate Science

Silencing Science Tracker

Silencing Climate Science

This page lists government actions targeting scientific research and education on climate change. The listed actions are also included in the table on the SST home page, along with actions targeting other (non-climate) environmental science fields.

2018-08-14 NPS Scientists Avoiding Discussion of “Climate Change” US DOI Self-Censorship Climate

A survey of NPS scientists found that over one-quarter engage in self-censorship, avoiding discussion of, and work on, climate change even when not explicitly told to do so.

2018-08-14 Public Communication by NPS Scientists Restricted US DOI Government Censorship Climate, Other

A survey of NPS scientists found various restrictions on their ability to communicate with the public and journalists.

2018-08-14 USDA Scientists Prevented from Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics USDA Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of federal government scientists found evidence of political interference in scientific research at USDA. The survey found, among other things, that resources have been shifted away from USDA programs and offices involved in “politically contentious” research.

2018-08-14 FWS Scientists Prevented from Discussing or Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics US DOI Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of FWS scientists found that many have been told not to work on topics deemed “politically contentious” and to omit “politically contentious” words, including “climate change” and “science,” from their reports.

2018-08-14 USGS Scientists Avoiding Discussion of “Climate Change” US DOI Self-Censorship Climate

A survey of USGS scientists found that nearly one-third engage in self-censorship, avoiding discussion of, and work on, climate change even when not explicitly told to do so.

2018-08-14 USGS Scientists Prevented from Researching “Politically Contentious” Topics US DOI Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of USGS scientists found that many have been asked or told not to work on topics deemed “politically contentious.”

2018-08-14 Scientific Research Subject to Political Interference at NOAA US DOC Research Hindrance Climate, Other

A survey of federal government scientists found evidence of political interference in scientific research at NOAA. The survey found, among other things, that scientists have been told to avoid research linking environmental problems to action by industry.

2018-07-31 Climate Change Omitted from List of White House R&D Priorities White House Budget Cuts, Government Censorship Climate

The White House Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly released a memorandum outlining the Trump administration’s research and development priorities. Unlike previous versions, issued during the Obama administration, the memorandum does not list climate change as a priority area.

2018-07-24 References to “Climate Change” Removed from USAID Report USAID Government Censorship Climate

References to “climate change” were removed from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s 2017 Sustainability Report. In a departure from previous versions, the 2017 report no longer lists “climate change adaptation” as a priority, and omits a section discussing “proposed actions” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2018-07-17 Impacts of Climate Change Downplayed by FEMA US DHS Bias and Misrepresentation, Government Censorship Climate

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not discuss climate change in its After Action Report on the 2017 hurricane season. Speaking about the report, FEMA’s Deputy Administrator for Resilience appeared to suggest that climate change is a natural phenomenon, stating “the climate shifts, it changes over time.”

2018-07-02 References to “Climate Change” Removed from Treasury Department Report Treasury Department Government Censorship Climate

References to “climate change” were removed from the Department of the Treasury’s 2017 Sustainability Report. In a departure from previous versions, the 2017 report no longer lists “climate change resilience” as a goal of the department, and omits discussion of programs aimed at addressing climate change risks.

2018-06-21 Public Communication by USGS Scientists Restricted US DOI Government Censorship Climate, Other

DOI issued a new media protocol that requires scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey to obtain approval before speaking to journalists. The protocol permits DOI to reject interview requests on scientific matters.

2018-06-20 Senators Request Review of NSF Grants Congress, NSF Research Hindrance Climate

Four Republican Senators requested that the Inspector General of the National Science Foundation (NSF) commence a review of its grant-making process. The Senators allege that NSF has issued several grants in violation of federal law, including one supporting a program intended to educate meteorologists about climate change.

2018-06-18 EPA Research Grants Cancelled at Direction of Political Appointee US EPA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

A political appointee at EPA — the Deputy Director for Public Affairs John Konkus — ordered the cancellation of at least four grants for research on climate change and related topics.

2018-06-14 New Conference Approval Process Adopted by USGS US DOI Government Censorship Climate, Other

The U.S. Geological Survey, within the Department of the Interior, will require scientists wishing to attend certain conferences to provide their presentation title(s) and an explanation of how their research relates to the priorities of Interior Secretary Zinke. The information will be reviewed by a political appointee, who will determine which scientists can attend each conference.

2018-05-9 NASA Climate Research Program Cancelled NASA Budget Cuts Climate

NASA cancelled its Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10 million-a-year program, which provides funding for research aimed at improving the measurement of carbon stocks and fluxes.

2018-05-30 NASA Employees Avoiding Discussion of Climate Change NASA Self-Censorship Climate

Since President Trump took office, NASA staff have avoided publishing climate change information online, and discussing the topic on social media. This is reportedly due to self-censorship by career staffers who are concerned about “provoking the [Trump] administration.”

2018-05-16 Climate Science Misrepresented by House Science Committee Members Congress Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During a hearing on May 16, 2018, several members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology misrepresented climate science. Among other things, they incorrectly suggested that human activities are not the primary driver of climate change, and that climate change is not causing sea level rise.

2018-05-10 References to “Climate Change” Removed from DOD Report US DOD Government Censorship Climate

A DOD report discussing how climate change is affecting military bases was edited to remove several references to “climate change” and downplay its impacts. For example, several references to climate change-induced sea level rise and its impact on military bases were removed, as were references to declines in Arctic sea ice.

2018-04-23 Release of Federal Sustainability Reports Delayed White House Government Censorship Climate

The White House Office of Management and Budget has delayed the release of sustainability reports prepared by at least seven federal agencies under Executive Order 13693 (signed by President Obama in March 2015).

2018-04-02 References to Humans’ Role in Climate Change Removed from NPS Report US DOI Government Censorship, Self-Censorship Climate

Officials at the National Parks Service edited a report on the impact of sea level rise and flooding on coastal national parks to remove all references to humans’ role in causing climate change.

2018-03-28 EPA Talking Points Misrepresent Climate Science US EPA Bias and Misrepresentation, Government Censorship Climate

EPA’s Office of Public Affairs issued a set of approved talking points on climate change. The talking points appear to be intended to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change, with one stating “[w]hile there has been extensive research . . . clear gaps remain,” including in “our understanding of the role of human activity” in contributing to climate change.

2018-03-23 Charters of BLM Advisory Councils Revised US DOI Bias and Misrepresentation, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

DOI revised the charters of twenty-one resource advisory councils responsible for advising the Bureau of Land Management. Under the revised charters, councils are required to “provide recommendations for implementation” of various executive orders and secretarial orders, leading to concerns that they will be put “in a position of implementing an agenda rather than providing solid advice.”

2018-03-15 References “Climate Change” Removed from FEMA Documents US DHS Government Censorship Climate

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published a new strategic plan in which all references to “climate change” and “global warming” have been removed.

2018-03-09 EPA Staff Participation in Scientific Integrity Survey Restricted US EPA Government Censorship Climate, Other

EPA scientists were warned against participating in a survey on scientific integrity within the federal government. An email containing a link to the survey was classified as spam “stemming from an unknown entity” by EPA’s Computer Security Incident Response Center, despite those running the survey providing advance notice to that it would be sent.

2018-03-06 EPA Science Advisory Board Unofficially Suspended US EPA Personnel Changes Climate, Other

As of March 2018, EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) had not met in at least six months, leading to concerns among members that EPA is trying to sideline the board. According to members, ordinarily, the SAB would have multiple interactions (including in-person meetings and teleconferences) during any six month period.

2018-02-12 NASA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 NASA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to reduce funding for NASA by 0.3% (compared to FY2017 levels). Among other things, the budget would eliminate funding for the international space station from 2025, cancel a project to upgrade communications satellites, and terminate five earth sciences research missions.

2018-02-12 EPA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 US EPA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut EPA funding by 33.7% (compared to FY2017 levels), and eliminate a number of the agency’s research and education programs, including the Climate Change Research and Partnership Program and the Environmental Education Program.

2018-02-12 DOI Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 US DOI Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to reduce funding for DOI by 16.8% (compared to FY2017 levels). The reductions are achieved, in part, through cuts to various DOI grant programs.

2018-02-12 USDA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut USDA funding by 16.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). Under the budget, funding for a number of USDA research programs, including statistical research programs administered by the Economic Research Service, would be reduced or eliminated.

2018-02-12 NSF Program Cuts Proposed for FY19 NSF Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes cuts to a number of National Science Foundation (NSF) programs, including a 56% reduction in the NSF account that supports the construction of research platforms and the acquisition of scientific instruments.

2018-02-12 DOE Program Cuts Proposed for FY19 US DOE Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to cut funding for DOE by 3.4% (compared to FY2017 levels). Funding for DOE’s innovation arm, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), would be eliminated and funding for its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy cut in half.

2018-02-12 NOAA Budget Cuts Proposed for FY19 US DOC Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2019 budget proposes to reduce funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by 20% compared to FY2017 levels. Among other things, the budget would eliminate $273 million in funding for NOAA grant programs, including the National Sea Grant College Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

2018-02-06 National Science and Technology Council to be Restructured White House Personnel Changes Climate, Other

The White House announced plans to restructure the interagency National Science and Technology Council, which was established in 1993 to coordinate science policy across the federal government. The restructure will be overseen by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which has requested input from 20 federal agencies.

2018-02 Climate Science Misrepresented by EPA Administrator US EPA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

In an interview on a Nevada television station, EPA Administrator misrepresented climate research indicating that rising temperatures will have widespread negative impacts, suggesting that they could actually be positive.

2018-02 DOI Secretary Accused of Breaching Scientific Integrity Policy US DOI Personnel Changes Climate, Other

Two senior scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey resigned in protest over an alleged breach of the USGS’s scientific integrity policy by the Secretary of the Interior.

2018-01-28 Climate Science Misrepresented by President Trump White House Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

During an international television appearance, aired on ITV, President Trump misrepresented scientific data regarding climate change. The President made several incorrect statements, including suggesting that global temperatures are not increasing, and sea ice cover is not declining.

2018-01-20 NOAA Climate Change Website Suspended During Government Shutdown US DOC Government Censorship Climate

During the government shutdown, NOAA temporarily suspended access to a website providing climate change data, while continuing to allow access to several other sites. The climate change website returned to service on January 23, 2018, following the end of the government shutdown.

2018-01 DOE Officials Pressured Researchers to Change Report US DOE Research Hindrance Climate, Other

Researchers at the National Energy Technology Laboratory were pressured, by DOE officials, to change a report on electric system reliability during extreme weather events. The changes were purportedly intended to bolster the Trump administration’s claims that retention of coal-fired power plants is vital to maintain reliability.

2017-12-31 Trump Administration Fails to Fill Science Positions White House Personnel Changes Climate, Other

As of December 31, 2017, President Trump had filled fewer government science positions than any other recent President, at the same point in time. Just 20 of the 83 positions designated by the National Academies of Sciences as “science appointees” had been filled.

2017-12-20 Climate Change Documents Removed from NPS Website US DOI Government Censorship Climate

Documents describing the climate action plans of 92 national parks were removed from the National Park Service website.

2017-12-18 Climate Change Dropped from National Security Strategy White House Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

President Trump unveiled a new National Security Strategy, which omitted “climate change” from a list of global threats.

2017-12-13 References to “Climate Change” Removed from FHWA Program US DOT Government Censorship Climate

The Federal Highway Administration’s “Sustainable Transport and Climate Change” program was renamed the “Sustainable Transportation and Resilience” program and several references to climate change were removed from its website.

2017-12-05 Trump Science Nominees Lack Qualifications All Personnel Changes Climate, Other

Of 43 Trump administration nominees in science-related positions, only 41% had a master’s degree or doctorate in a science field, compared to 58% under President Obama.

2017-12 DOI Scientists Prevented from Attending Conference US DOI Government Censorship Climate

DOI capped the number of staff who could attend the American Geophysical Union’s annual meeting at 199 (down from 450 in previous years).

2017-12 “Climate Change” Omitted from NSF Funding Applications NSF Self-Censorship Climate

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded 40% fewer grants containing the words “climate change” in 2017, compared to 2016, with scientists apparently engaging in “self-censorship” and using alternative terms (e.g., “extreme weather”).

2017-12 10 Year Research Project Cancelled by DOE US DOE Budget Cuts Climate

DOE cancelled an ongoing project researching how tropical forests will respond to climate change. The study, which involved over 130 scientists, was launched in 2015 and due to continue until 2025, but will shut down 7 years early (in 2018).

2017-11 NPS Staff Reprimanded for Climate Change Tweet US DOI Government Censorship Climate

The Secretary of the Interior reprimanded the head of Joshua Tree National Park after climate change-related tweets were posted from the park’s account.

2017-11 EPA Giving Preference to Industry-Backed Science US EPA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

EPA proposed to repeal emissions standards for freight trucks based on research funded by the biggest truck manufacturer challenging the standards.

2017-11 Research into Sea-Ice Cover Obstructed by Congress Congress Research Hindrance Climate

Congress ordered the dismantling of a back-up satellite needed to investigate the impact of climate change on sea-ice in the poles.

2017-10-30 EPA Scientists’ Speaking Engagements Cancelled US EPA Government Censorship Climate

EPA cancelled talks by 3 scientists who were scheduled to discuss climate change at a conference on the state of the Narragansett Bay.

2017-10 Forest Service Scientist Prevented from Attending Conference USDA Government Censorship Climate

A U.S. Forest Service scientist was denied approval to travel to an international fire conference where he was scheduled to speak on severe fire weather conditions and climate change.

2017-10 EPA Website Relaunched Without Climate Change Materials US EPA Government Censorship Climate

Multiple links to materials aimed at helping local government officials adapt to climate change were removed from EPA’s website.

2017-10 References to “Climate Change” Removed from EPA’s International Website US EPA Government Censorship Climate, Other

Between October and December 2017, EPA made various changes to its International Cooperation website, including removing information about climate change.

2017-09 EPA Enforcement Agents Reassigned US EPA Personnel Changes Climate

Agents in EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division were reassigned to Administrator Pruitt’s security detail, forcing them to suspend investigation of climate crimes.

2017-09 Climate Science Page Removed from EPA Website US EPA Government Censorship Climate

A section on climate science was deleted from the website of EPA’s “SmartWay” program and other sections were amended to remove references to “climate change” and related terms.

2017-08-17 Climate Change Omitted from White House’s List of FY2019 R&D Priorities White House Budget Cuts, Government Censorship Climate

The White House Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy jointly released a memorandum outlining the Trump administration’s research and development priorities. Unlike previous versions, issued during the Obama administration, the memorandum does not list climate change as a priority area.

2017-08 DOE-Funded Scientists Told Not to Reference “Climate Change” US DOE Self-Censorship Climate

DOE-funded researchers were asked by staff at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to remove references to “climate change” and “global warming” from project descriptions.

2017-08 EPA Grants Reviewed by Political Appointee US EPA Budget Cuts, Research Hindrance Climate

EPA announced that it will require new and certain existing grants to be approved by a political appointee, who has told staff he is looking for references to “climate change.”

2017-08 National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee Disbanded US DOC Personnel Changes Climate

The Trump administration disbanded an advisory committee which assisted state and local officials to use the National Climate Assessment in long-term planning.

2017-07-27 Climate Change Information Removed from USDA Website USDA Government Censorship Climate

Information on climate change mitigation and adaptation was removed, and then returned, to USDA’s “Climate Hubs” website.

2017-07 DOI Scientists Involuntarily Reassigned US DOI Personnel Changes Climate

Approximately 50 DOI employees, including some working on climate-related issues, were involuntarily reassigned to unrelated positions.

2017-07 References to “Climate Change” Removed from NIH Website US HHS Government Censorship Climate

References to “climate change” and links to climate-related documents, including an educational fact sheet on climate change and human health, were removed from the National Environmental Health Sciences website.

2017-07 NPS Scientist Excluded from Tour US DOI Government Censorship Climate

DOI prevented the Superintendent of Glacier National Park, a noted climate change expert, from participating in Mark Zuckerberg’s tour of the park.

2017-07 Human Role in Climate Change Downplayed by NOAA US DOC Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

A NOAA news release publicizing the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index noted the index has increased 40% since 1990 but, unlike previous releases, failed to attribute this increase to human activity.

2017-07 EPA Adaptation Staff Reassigned US EPA Personnel Changes Climate

EPA reassigned four staffers in the policy office, who had previously worked on climate change adaptation.

2017-07 EPA Intern Directed Not to Tweet About Climate Change US EPA Self-Censorship Climate

An intern in EPA’s communications office was instructed by co-workers not to mention “climate change” or “going green” in tweets.

2017-06-15 DOE Office of International Climate and Technology Closed US DOE Personnel Changes Climate

DOE closed the Office of International Climate and Technology which was formed in 2011 to help the U.S. provide technical advice to other nations seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

2017-06 EPA Climate Change Staff Reassigned US EPA Personnel Changes Climate

EPA reallocated staff from the climate change division and climate protection partnership division to other areas.

2017-05-23 DOD’s FY18 Budget Request Cut by Trump Administration US DOD Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s proposed FY2018 budget included $347 million in funding for climate and environmental research at DOD. This represents less than 1% of the amount requested by DOD and would result in cuts to several research programs.

2017-05-23 DOE’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration US DOE Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposes a 59% cut in funding for DOE’s earth and environmental sciences program which plays a key role in federal climate change research.

2017-05-23 DHS’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration US DHS Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY 2018 budget proposed an 11% cut in funding for DHS programs supporting climate and other environmental research.

2017-05-23 DOI’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration US DOI Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 19% cut in funding for climate and environmental research programs at DOI.

2017-05-23 EPA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration US EPA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposes to cut funding for EPA climate and environmental research programs by 39% or $438 million.

2017-05-23 NASA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration NASA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposes to cut funding for NASA climate and environmental research programs by 8% or $151 million.

2017-05-23 NOAA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration US DOC Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed to cut funding for NOAA’s climate and environmental research programs by 7% or $49 million.

2017-05-23 NSF’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration NSF Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 10% cut funding in for the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s climate and environmental research programs. This is expected to lead to 800 fewer awards to universities and other institution in 2018 compared to 2017.

2017-05-23 USDA’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration USDA Budget Cuts Climate, Other

The Trump administration’s FY2018 budget proposed a 12% cut in funding for USDA climate and environmental research programs.

2017-05-18 “Climate Change” References Removed from USGS Press Release US DOI Government Censorship Climate

DOI amended the press release for a paper on sea level rise to remove a sentence identifying climate change as its cause.

2017-05 EPA Advisory Board Chair Pressured to Change Congressional Testimony US EPA Government Censorship Climate

The chair of EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors was pressured to change her testimony before Congress to downplay the Trump administration’s decision not to reappoint half of the board’s members.

2017-05 “Climate Change” References Removed from FHWA Website US DOT Government Censorship Climate

References to “climate change” on the FHWA’s website and were replaced with alternate terms such as “resiliency” and “sustainability.”

2017-05 Climate Change Information Buried on EPA Website US EPA Government Censorship Climate

EPA buried a webpage intended to educate school children about climate change, removing a link to the page from an archived version of its website.

2017-05 References to “Clean Energy” Removed from DOE Website US DOE Government Censorship Climate

DOE’s “Clean Energy Investment Center” was renamed the “Energy Investor Center” and all references to “clean energy” were removed from its website.

2017-05 DOI Advisory Boards Suspended or Eliminated US DOI Personnel Changes Climate, Other

DOI froze the work of more than 200 advisory boards, committees, and subcommittees to enable it to review “the charter and charge of each committee.” DOI also allowed the charter of the Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science to expire.

2017-05 Climate Change Page Removed from BLM Website US DOI Government Censorship Climate

A page describing efforts to address climate change, and providing links to DOI and other federal resources on climate change and renewable energy, was removed from the Bureau of Land Management’s website.

2017-05 Word “Climate” Removed from BIA Program Name US DOI Government Censorship Climate

The “Tribal Climate Resilience Program” was renamed the “Tribal Resilience Program” and all references to “climate” and “climate change” were removed from its website.

2017-05 DOI Scientists Work Criticized by Political Appointees US DOI Government Censorship Climate

Political appointees at DOI criticized a U.S Geological Survey press release, which described climate change as “dramatically” reducing the size of glaciers. One official described the statement as a “perfect example of [scientists] going outside their wheelhouse” and another indicated that “we need to watch for inflammatory [language] in their press releases.”

2017-04-28 EPA Climate Change Website Removed US EPA Government Censorship Climate

EPA’s climate change website was removed and replaced with a message indicating that it is being updated to reflect the agency’s priorities under President Trump.

2017-04-19 Climate Change Information Removed from DOI Website US DOI Government Censorship Climate

DOI’s main climate change webpage was revised to omit various references to the adverse effects of climate change and a detailed discussion of DOI’s climate change priorities.

2017-04 EPA Scientist’s Participation in Public Events Restricted US EPA Government Censorship Climate

An EPA scientist was warned not to speak on climate change at public-facing events or to have such events approved by headquarters in advance.

2017-04 Benefits of Renewable Energy Downplayed by DOE US DOE Government Censorship Climate

DOE changed its website to remove references to renewable energy as a low-emission alternative to fossil fuels and focus solely on renewable energy’s potential to create jobs.

2017-04 Oil and Gas Production Risks Downplayed on GAO Website US GAO Government Censorship Climate, Other

A GOA website on managing federal oil and gas resources was edited to remove content on the environmental and public health risks of shale oil and gas production.

2017-04 Climate Change Resources Removed from DOE Website US DOE Government Censorship Climate

Links to various climate change resources, including the National Climate Assessment, were removed from the DOE’s main climate change website.

2017-03-29 Climate Science Criticized in Congressional Hearing Congress Bias and Misrepresentation, Research Hindrance Climate

At a hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Rep. Lamar Smith criticized climatologists, asserting that they often “operate outside the principles of the scientific method.” Rep. Smith also questioned the accuracy of climate projections, saying that constitute “[a]larmist predictions [that] amount to nothing more than wild guesses.”

2017-03-09 Climate Science Misrepresented by EPA Administrator US EPA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

In an interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt misrepresented climate science, suggesting that scientists have not established that greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of climate change.

2017-03 DOE Staff Told to Avoid References to “Climate Change” US DOE Self-Censorship Climate

A supervisor in DOE’s international climate office instructed his staff not to use the terms “climate change,” “emissions reduction,” or “Paris Agreement.”

2017-02-16 USDA Staff Told to Avoid References to “Climate Change” USDA Self-Censorship Climate

USDA staff were instructed to avoid using certain terms, including “climate change,” which should be replaced with “weather extremes.”

2017-02-09 EPA Staff Prevented from Attending Climate Conference US EPA Government Censorship Climate

Half of the 34 EPA staffers scheduled to attend the Alaska Forum on the Environment were told they could no longer attend the event.

2017-02-03 EPA Employees Warned About Speaking Publicly US EPA Government Censorship Climate, Other

EPA staff received an email warning them that, while they are free to speak publicly, doing so presents risks.

2017-02 DOE Website Rewritten to Downplay Impact of Fossil Fuels US DOE Self-Censorship Climate

The Energy Information Administration rewrote its “Energy Kids” website to downplay the environmental impacts of burning fossil fuels. Two charts showing the link between coal burning and greenhouse gas emissions were removed.

2017-02 Impact of Fossil Fuels Downplayed by DOI US DOI Government Censorship Climate

DOI removed several references to the adverse effects of fossil fuels and the need to develop cleaner renewable energy technologies from its energy website.

2017-01-25 EPA Scientists’ Research Subject to Review Before Publication US EPA Government Censorship, Research Hindrance Climate, Other

The head of communications for the EPA transition team indicated that agency scientists would be required to have their research reviewed before publication.

2017-01-24 NPS Climate Change Tweets Deleted US DOI Self-Censorship Climate

The Badlands national park deleted four tweets, containing basic scientific facts about climate change, from its account. The tweets were reportedly posted by a former employee who was not authorized to use the park’s account.

2017-01-21 Arctic Strategy Removed from White House Website White House Government Censorship Climate

The White House deleted links to the U.S. National Strategy for the Arctic and related documents from its website.

2017-01-20 “Climate Change” References Removed from White House Website White House Government Censorship Climate

The White House website was re-launched with all references to “climate change” removed.

2017-01 CDC Climate Change Summit Cancelled US HHS Self-Censorship Climate

CDC preemptively cancelled a planned summit on climate change and public health due to concerns about the Trump administration’s reaction.

2017-01 Climate Change Pages Removed from State Department Website US State Department Government Censorship Climate

The State Department removed various pages mentioning climate change from its website, including a page providing links to the department’s 2010, 2014, and 2016 Climate Action Reports.

2017-01 Public Communication by DOI Staff Restricted US DOI Government Censorship Climate, Other

The Trump transition team instructed DOI staff not to send out press releases, post on social media or blogs, or update websites and to consult with senior officials before speaking to the media.

2017-01 Public Communication by USDA Staff Restricted USDA Government Censorship Climate, Other

The Trump transition team instructed USDA staff not to send out press releases, post on social media or blogs, or update websites and to consult with senior officials before speaking to the media.

2017-01 DOE Advisory Board Disbanded US DOE Personnel Changes Climate, Other

The Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, which was a key adviser to past DOE secretaries, was reportedly “sunset.” DOE has no plans to reconstitute the board at this time.

2017 EPA Staffers Frozen Out of Decision-Making US EPA Bias and Misrepresentation Climate

EPA staffers are being frozen out of decision-making in their areas of expertise, with political appointees making decisions instead.

2017 “Climate Change” References Removed from EPA Documents US EPA Self-Censorship Climate

EPA staff amended internal program documents to replace “climate change” with “climate resiliency” in an effort to prevent program cuts.

2017 Four Climate Fellowships Rescinded by NOAA US DOC Budget Cuts Climate

Budget cuts resulted in NOAA rescinding four of the eight offers made to researchers to participate in the 2017 Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. As a result, fewer researchers participated in the 2017 program than in any other year since it was launched.

2016-12-06 Names of DOE Climate Change Staff Requested US DOE Personnel Changes Climate

The Trump transition team sent, then disavowed, a survey seeking information about DOE staff who had worked on climate change.

2016-12 Names of USDA Staff Working on Climate Change Requested USDA Personnel Changes Climate

The Trump transition team requested information about USDA’s Office of Climate Change, including the names of all staff members.

2016-12 References to “Climate Change” Removed from DOE Documents US DOE Self-Censorship Climate

Internal DOE documents were amended to re-frame “climate change” projects as “weather” or “jobs” projects.

2016-12 Word “Climate” Removed from EPA Program Name and Website US EPA Self-Censorship Climate

EPA’s “Climate Ready Water Utilities” program was renamed the “Creating Resilient Water Utilities” program and several references to “climate change” and “climate science” were removed from its website.

2016-11 References to “Climate Change” Removed from CDC Website US HHS Government Censorship, Self-Censorship Climate

In late 2016, following the presidential election, several references to “climate change” were removed from the website of the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.