From now on, scientists at the EPA won’t be allowed to publish studies or data until a Trump appointee reviews it and says it’s okay.
The mandate, which came down from the Trump White House Wednesday afternoon, requires that “any studies or data from scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency undergo review by political appointees before they can be released to the public,” the AP reports.
It’s definitely a change for the EPA, which under Obama had developed a scientific integrity document that pledges, among other things, to eventually release to the public all scientific studies “uncompromised by political or other interference.”
But it’s also the next logical step for the agency, which the Trump administration muzzled earlier this week with a communications blackout. Employees are currently prohibited from talking on the record to reporters, using social media to talk about the EPA, and, apparently, having any idea of what their jobs will be under the new administration.
(The National Parks Service was similarly silenced after retweeting images comparing Barack Obama’s well-attended inauguration with Donald Trump’s lesser-attended inauguration. Still, several Twitter accounts briefly revolted last night.)
Plus, Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump’s EPA transition team, tells the news outlet that the mandate includes the EPA website, which currently lists information pertaining to global warming—just don’t blink or anything.
“We’re taking a look at everything on a case-by-case basis, including the web page and whether climate stuff will be taken down,” Erickson told the AP.
“Everything is subject to review,” he said.