The White House climate change policy up until 2017 went through a drastic change of its own on Inauguration Day, as it’s been reported that a link to President Obama’s climate change policy and all references to the topic had been deleted from the official White House website.
The removal of the White House climate change agenda were apparently not the only things that were removed. Because, according to a tweet by actor and activist George Takei, so were any references to LGBT, civil rights, and healthcare.
The White House removed its climate change web page. And the healthcare, civil rights and LGBT sections. Just thought you should know.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 20, 2017
A click on the initial link leads to a new splash page with Trump and Pence. Clicking on “to continue” into the site shows that it has been completely revamped, but a search for the words climate change did not bring back any results.
Neither did a search for “global warming” on the White House website. However, entering the word “climate” pulled up the first page of a list of issues for the new administration titled “An American First Energy Plan” which only refers to climate once.
“President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Water of the U.S. rule.”
Former White House Policies Get Archived
Yes we can.
Yes we did.
Thank you for being a part of the past eight years. pic.twitter.com/mjmr4RkxpV
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) January 20, 2017
One Twitter user responded to Takei’s tweet, saying that changes to the site are normal and that the information removed was archived in its own, no-longer-updated White House site.
— Paige Dimakos (@The_SportsPaige) January 20, 2017
During the transition between the Bush and Obama administrations in 2008, the White House site was drastically revamped over the following months for a more engaging format. And while Paige Dimakos is correct about the process, such a drastic change has only happened once before to President Bush.
Trump Administration’s Shock To The System
The new White House administration has not made any secret about being opposed to many of the policies described as removed from the site.
They have especially been aggressive against climate change, denying much of the science, that even the Washington Post reported that the Trump transition team issued 74 questions to the Energy Department to learn how to identify those who supported climate change. The department refused. So the removal of this information can easily be viewed as the administration having a hard line against climate science.
Trump has campaigned on an anti-regulation platform saying that regulations are a burden on creating jobs. But tied in with this belief is the idea that climate change is a hoax.
After Trump won the election, the Washington Post published a piece about how the new administration would be advised for energy policy by think tanks that are heavily funded by oil companies.
The article goes into further detail about how he would be assigning people to lead the EPA, the Department of the Interior, and the Energy Department. Prior to Trump’s inauguration, many of Trump’s cabinet picks for those departments were put in front of committees and asked if they believed that climate change was a hoax. Various reports suggested that those who accepted that the science was real during those hearings was taken as a sign that there could be a clash between the Trump administration and his own cabinet.
In a recent comment, Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway promised on CBS News that Trump’s inauguration into the White House would deliver a “shock to the system,” which could be taken seriously if the revamp of the White House website were part of that shock.
Denial Thoroughly Permeates White House Mindset
Within the White House website’s energy plan is also the mention of clean coal technology, taking advantage of what they estimate is $50 trillion from oil, natural gas reserves, and the controversial fracking process of untapped shale.
Their plan goes further into wanting energy independent from OPEC which the administration refers to as a cartel. They continue to tie this into having a positive energy relationship with energy companies in the gulf together with their anti-terrorism strategy.
To their credit, however, they do acknowledge the need for the protection of clean water, air, and the conservation of natural habits but continue to say that the preservation of the nation’s natural reserves and resources are of the highest priority.
It isn’t until the very end of the page that the Trump White House energy page also acknowledges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But a mention of the EPA in this case suggests that President Trump will “refocus” on the organization’s mission to protecting air and water.
— Chris Mooney (@chriscmooney) January 13, 2017
It’s been widely reported that one of the first cabinet picks to sit before the committees was Rex Tillerson, a former CEO for Exxon Mobil. Exxon Mobil has been central to the climate change denial problem where they have been accused of manipulating documentation to their own climate of denial.
The mentioned Washington Post article also refers to Kathleen Hartnett-White who is a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, who said that she took issue with the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision which allowed the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, saying essentially that carbon dioxide was not a pollutant.
“Carbon dioxied has none of the characteristics of a pollutant that could harm human health.”
Overall, the article is direct in saying that a Trump White House would certainly be advised by climate change deniers who are funded by oil companies — oil companies who have the specific interest in getting rid of any and all regulations that, they claim, stunt job growth.
[Featured Image by Chris Dorney/Shutterstock]