Just this week: The Trump administration froze new scientific grants at the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA gives out billions of dollars every year to fund research and projects throughout the country. “These grants help states pay to track air pollution, say, or restore watersheds, or support researchers studying various environmental problems,” Vox’s Brad Plumer explains.
It’s unclear how long the freeze will last, and if it pertains only to new grants or to existing grants as well. As ProPublica reports:
One EPA employee aware of the freeze said he had never seen anything like it in nearly a decade with the agency. Hiring freezes happened, he said, but freezes on grants and contracts seemed extraordinary. The employee said the freeze appeared to be nationwide, and as of Monday night it was not clear for how long it would be in place.
But either way, the agency seems to be a target of a Trump administration hammer. Axios found there may be $815 million in budget cuts coming for the EPA, for various “environment programs and management.” The Huffington Post also reported the EPA is banned from communicating via press releases or social media communications during this time, in another blow.
What’s more, Reuters is reporting that the Trump Administration has ordered the EPA take down its climate change webpage. The EPA climate change page contains links to emissions data and explainers on the current consensus in the field. (And note: the EPA scientific integrity policy states “To operate an effective science and regulatory agency like the EPA, it is also essential that political or other officials not suppress or alter scientific findings.”