Environmental Group Slams Trump’s Freeze on EPA Grants and Contracts
Reports that President Donald Trump has slapped severe restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency has drawn sharp protests from environmental groups, like the Center for Western Priorities.
According to the group's media director Aaron Weiss, President Trump's new restrictions on the EPA goes so far as to temporarily silence its presence on social media.
"Certainly the ban on any sort of communication is a huge concern," he said. "We believe the EPA is doing important work when it comes to climate change, tracking pollution and when it comes to cleanup, to say those scientists cannot communicate about their jobs, that sends a message that this administration is not interested in facts."
Weiss expanded on President Trump's mindset on science.
"What we're seeing today is a serous escalation on the Trump administration's war on science and facts," Weiss said. "It's one thing to scrub the White House website of mentions about climate change, but it's another to tie the hands of public servants from doing their jobs. To prevent the EPA from issuing new contracts and keep scientists from doing their work. That's simply unacceptable, regardless of your political views, they need to be able to do their jobs without political interference."
Weiss said his organization is hopeful that Ryan Zinke will be true to his word, should he be named Secretary of the Interior.
"He mentioned Teddy Roosevelt at least eight or nine times in his confirmation hearing, that he wants to walk in Roosevelt's footsteps, and that means standing up to some members of his own party who would sell off some of our public lands," Weiss said. "The reason Teddy Roosevelt is an American hero is because he showed some backbone when it came to things like protecting the Grand Canyon."
Pro Publica states that "President Trump has nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the EPA. He is seen as a hero among conservatives who believe the EPA oversteps its federal authority."