EPA Staff Prevented from Updating Climate Change Indicators Website

On November 21, 2018, E&E News reported that staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had been prevented from updating a website providing information about climate change. The site, titled “Climate Change Indicators in the United States,” is intended to “compile a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change.” During the Obama Administration, the site was updated every six months to include new climate change indicators, such as temperature increases or changes in sea ice cover. However, according to EPA staff, the site has not been updated since President Trump took office. One staffer told E&E news:

“Every year, we get a new data point. The Arctic sea ice extent for that year, for example. Or a new number from [the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] on Lyme disease cases. So usually we update that site every six months, but we haven’t been allowed to.”

It is unclear whether staff were ordered not to update the site or are engaging in a form of self-censorship. The EPA staffer indicated that management is hesitant to ask political appointees about updating the site because of “rumors” that they “don’t approve anything to do with climate change on the website.”