Agency: DOE

Silencing Science Tracker

Agency: DOE

2018-02-12 DOE Program Cuts Proposed for FY19 DOE, Federal 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.

2018-01 DOE Officials Pressured Researchers to Change Report DOE, Federal 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 10 Year Research Project Cancelled by DOE DOE, Federal 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).

2017-08 DOE-Funded Scientists Told Not to Reference “Climate Change” DOE, Federal 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.

2017-06-15 DOE Office of International Climate and Technology Closed DOE, Federal 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.

2017-05-23 DOE’s FY18 Budget Cut by Trump Administration DOE, Federal 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 References to “Clean Energy” Removed from DOE Website DOE, Federal 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.

2017-04 DOE Scientists Prevented from Attending Conference DOE, Federal Government Censorship Other

Up to 27 DOE scientists were told they could not attend the 2017 International Atomic Energy Agency conference.

2017-04 Benefits of Renewable Energy Downplayed by DOE DOE, Federal 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 Climate Change Resources Removed from DOE Website DOE, Federal 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 DOE Staff Told to Avoid References to “Climate Change” DOE, Federal 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 DOE Website Rewritten to Downplay Impact of Fossil Fuels DOE, Federal 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.

2017-01 DOE Advisory Board Disbanded DOE, Federal 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.

2016-12-06 Names of DOE Climate Change Staff Requested DOE, Federal 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 References to “Climate Change” Removed from DOE Documents DOE, Federal Self-Censorship Climate

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