EPA removes climate references from truck efficiency website

EPA removes climate references from truck efficiency website
© EPA.gov

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed some climate change references from a website about a trucking industry efficiency program.

The site for the SmartWay program has removed mentions of “carbon” and “greenhouse gases,” replacing them with terms like “sustainability” and “emissions,” according to the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative, which has been tracking EPA website changes under the Trump administration.

The general emphasis on climate change has been reduced dramatically, along with the focus on international efforts under the program, the group said in a Friday report.

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The changes are part of a broader shift at the EPA under the Trump administration, in which public-facing references to climate change are being scrubbed or de-emphasized, reflecting the new administration's rollback of Obama administration climate programs.

The EPA website still doesn’t have its main section on climate change, which the agency took down earlier this year, saying the content was being reviewed.

An EPA spokeswoman downplayed the changes.

“EPA career staffers proactively made cosmetic changes to the Smartway program website. There have been no changes to the program and EPA continues to support efforts to improve supply chain efficiency, and cut air pollution,” spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement.

In the SmartWay section, the changes included striking “The science is clear — greenhouse gas emissions from all sources must decrease” entirely.

While the site used to say that “many companies monitor their carbon emissions and establish inventories or overall 'carbon footprint' to help decision makers identify the best strategies for reducing climate impacts,” it now focuses on fuel consumption, sustainability, environmental footprint and similar terminology.

— This story was updated at 12:30 p.m.