Climate Change Information Removed from DOI Website
On April 19, 2017, the Department of the Interior (DOI) replaced the information on its main climate change webpage. Various references to “climate change” were removed from the page, including part of a paragraph indicating that “climate change affects every corner of the American continent. It is making droughts drier and longer, floods more dangerous and hurricanes more severe.” A detailed description of DOI’s climate change priorities was also removed and replaced with a general statement that “[t]he impacts of climate change have led the Department to focus on how we manage our nation’s public lands and resources. The Department of the Interior contributes sound scientific research to address this and other environmental challenges.” The revised page also contains links to the climate change pages of other environmental agencies.
On March 9, 2018, the Washington Post reported that discussions about changing the DOI’s website began just ten days after President Trump took office. The changes were recommended by Indur Goklany, a senior advisor in DOI’s Office of Policy Analysis. Goklany called for changes to the website to make it “technically and scientifically more accurate” and suggested that the changes be made “before [a new Secretary of the Interior] is confirmed. That way there would be no controversy . . . after he arrives.”
A report released on July 22, 2019 by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) titled “The New Digital Landscape” indicated that since 2018 the DOI has restricted its climate page from public access (visitors see a message stating “access denied”) and removed “Climate Change” from its list of priorities.