Climate Science Out, Coal In: EPA Exhibit Will Reflect Trump's Agenda
An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) history exhibit that opened just before President Donald Trump took office is expected lose some of its Obama-era climate displays, which could be replaced with a presentation on coal to reflect the policies of the current administration.
As the Trump administration has rolled back environmental regulations, and controversial EPA chief Scott Pruitt has publicly defended the deregulation and spread doubt about climate science, EPA staff members who worked on the exhibit tipped off Trump officials that some of its content conflicts with the administration’s environmental policies, according to the Washington Post.
The one-room exhibit, “The Story of the Environmental Protection Agency: Protecting Public Health and the Environment,” located at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C, is free and open to the public on weekdays. The exhibit documents the EPA’s history since it was established in 1970 and, according to the agency’s webpage, “explores how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency protects public health and the environment by safeguarding the air we breathe, water we drink, and land on which we live.”
Ahead of the proposed changes to remove panels that celebrate climate achievements from the Obama years, those charged with overseeing the exhibit have already added some pro-coal propaganda, the Post reported:
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When Pruitt met with the Pennsylvania miners in April, he touted his commitment to environmental deregulation, saying:
Yet according to the EPA—at least, pre-Pruitt—burning coal, gas, and oil is the single-greatest contributor to greenhouse gas emission. The panels that are slated for removal include documented efforts to curb emissions. One details the 2009 endangerment finding, in which then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson concluded “that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere endanger both the public health and the environment for current and future generations”—and therefore, the agency had a legal obligation to control emission.
Another panel describes the Paris Climate Agreement, a December 2015 treaty signed by nearly 200 nations that pledged to curb their emissions. The Post reported that the Paris treaty panel claims the “EPA is leading global efforts to address climate change.” Trump provoked condemnation from world leaders, green groups, and the American public when he announced the U.S. would withdraw from the historic climate accord the last month.
A spokesperson for the EPA also told the Post they would add a contentious former agency administrator to the exhibit:
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