WASHINGTON, DC, April 30, 2017 (ENS) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday removed decades worth of climate science from its website, one day before 200,000 people came together for the Peoples Climate March in Washington, with thousands more marching in communities around America and the world.

“EPA.gov, the website for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is undergoing changes that reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Calling the EPA’s previous work “out of date,” the agency said, “The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency’s current efforts.”

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Coal-fired Keystone Generating Station in western Pennsylvania, 2014 (Photo by Zach Frailey)

The website that once detailed President Barack Obama’s Clean Power plan now brings up President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence, which calls for a Trump administration review of the Clean Power Plan.

It was the first page to be “updated.” Content related to climate and regulation is also being reviewed.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced in August 2015, would have cut heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 by replacing coal and oil-fired energy generation with natural gas, wind, solar and other cleaner fuels. Based on uniform national standards, the plan set individual state goals based on each state’s current energy mix.

Details of the Clean Power Plan can be found on the Environment News Service website at. http://ens-newswire.com/2015/08/03/epa-sets-first-co2-standards-for-existing-power-plants/

EPA says in its announcement of the changes, “The changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures. For instance, a screenshot of the last administration’s website will remain available from the main page.”

That “screenshot” is at the foot of the EPA’s homepage under the label, “January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.” The links are to databases that are being updated with Trump administration “facts.” Many links in this archived site will not work.

J.P. Freire, associate administrator for public affairs, justified the change in these words. “As EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land, and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency. We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”

Pruitt

U.S. EPA head Scott Pruitt speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 25, 2017 (Photo by Gabe Skidmore)

The information being eliminated conflicts directly with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s denial of decades of climate science.

On CNBC last month Pruitt acknowledged that “global warming” is occurring but said that that human activities such as burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests are not “a primary contributor.”

“Measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt said.

Until Friday, the EPA’s climate change website cited findings to the contrary by the thousands of scientists who voluntarily contribute to the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, and many national academies of science.

The IPCC does no original research. Instead, it reports on peer-reviewed scientific climate literature published worldwide over the preceding seven years.

In its latest report, issued in November 2014, the IPCC states, “The Synthesis Report confirms that human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed across all continents and oceans. Many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The IPCC is now 95 percent certain that humans are the main cause of current global warming.”

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