Trump Orders Media Blackout At Government Agencies: Bans Use Of Social Media, Bars New EPA Contracts
It wasn’t just the EPA.
Earlier today, we reported that the Trump administration instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants.
Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press, detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts. On Monday, the Huffington Post reported that EPA grants had been frozen, with agency employees barred from speaking of the matter. The memo ordering the social media blackout is shown below.
Cited by The Hill, Myron Ebell, who leads the Trump EPA transition, confirmed the freeze to ProPublica. “They’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first,” Ebell told ProPublica. Trump’s pick for EPA director, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has frequently challenged agency policy in court.
The Trump administration reportedly told the Department of the Interior to stop tweeting from its accounts over the weekend after the National Park Service’s Twitter account retweeted a post about the crowd sizes at Trump’s inauguration Friday. The agency brought back its accounts on Saturday.
Asked if the EPA had been gagged, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday: “I don’t know. we’re looking into it. I don’t think it’s a surprise we’re going to review the policies but I don’t have any info at this time.”
According to Reuters sources, the move “reinforced concerns that Trump, a climate change doubter, could seek to sideline scientific research showing that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels contributes to global warming, as well as the career staffers at the agencies that conduct much of this research.”
The agency also was asked by the White House on Monday to temporarily halt all contracts, grants and interagency agreements pending a review, according to multiple sources. The EPA awards billions of dollars worth of grants and contracts every year to support programs around environmental testing, cleanups and research. According to Reuters ,
the White House sent a letter to the EPA’s Office of Administration and Resources Management ordering the freeze on Monday. “Basically no money moving anywhere until they can take a look,” the staffer said, asking not to be named.
Now, as Reuters adds, other agencies were also impacted, and the Trump’s administration has put staff at a slew of government agencies on notice – “be careful what you say.”
In addition to the EPA, the Interior Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture also has seen efforts to curb communication. On Monday, staff at the department’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) were asked in an email to suspend the release of “any public-facing documents.”
“This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content,” the email said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture disavowed the email on Tuesday, saying in a statement that it was released without “departmental direction and prior to departmental guidance being issued.”
“ARS will be providing updated direction to its staff,” according to the statement.
The ARS focuses on scientific research into the main issues facing agriculture, including long-term climate change.
Last week, staff at the Interior Department were told to stop posting on Twitter after an employee retweeted posts about the relatively low attendance at Trump’s inauguration, and about how the issues of climate change and civil rights had disappeared from the White House website.
The department has since resumed tweeting.
This isn’t censorship, they are a dept of the Executive branch and follow orders including communication same as any other. Got a question ask the President’s Press secretary.
They (EPA) promote and fund the research that promotes Climate Change being caused by CO2. Big time. Now the money is shut off. Lets see if we can get that money or some of it to study the effects on the Earth’s Temperature caused by the Sun, Lets see how GMO crops are 300% higher in formaldehyde.
STATE DEC’s do most of the real environmental work.
How does the media know that there’s a media blackout? Did someone at the EPA already spill the beans against Trump’s wishes?
i am pretty much an extremist when it comes to pollution and environmental degradation yet i think this is a healthy debate.
i hope the scientists inside and outside government rise to the occasion and convince the public of the need to reduce fossil fuel pollution (i wanted it long before i heard of global warming).
the democrats too should met the challenge and justify their use of air and space.
You do not need to believe in global warming (from human activity) to be against pollution. Police pollution and you will do much to taper global warming, if it were real (I am a doubter because cycles sound reasonable, and because we caught some of their scientists lying about their results, which, if global warming was real, those folks should be executed [and I am not a lover of capital punishment]). Go after pollution, STFU about global warming. Ask China, we don’t want to be China.
Every publically traded organization I’ve worked for would terminate me for making “statements” to the media. I don’t know what the rules are in public sector but this is just standard practice.
Might I suggest you refer to Obunghole in the future as a dicktaster?
You mean “Report Scientific Results” = “bitch to the media”?
We’re about to find out the real meaning of “politically correct”.
fuck up the biosphere.
and you better shut the fuck up and don’t tell on us.
Do the world a favor and stop breathing to support your flawed beliefs.
Far more people die from cold weather related events than from warm weather and yet Obama’s policy was to try to make the climate even colder than it is. The man was a menace.
I know it’s weird that we still exist, but as a skinny girl I fully support global warming.
I mean, is it just me or is it way too fucking cold? And am I the only one that remembers girls asking this all the time? Christ we’ve gotten fat. No wonder everyone thinks it’s gotten so much warmer.
Sorry to inform you that the world is most likely going to get much colder in the next 30 years. I suggest you move farther south if you don’t like the cold.
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