Trump officials discussed whether to ‘ignore’ climate data: report
White House officials discussed the possibility of ignoring federal climate data, according to an internal memo that highlights the Trump administration’s struggles with established climate change science.
The Washington Post reports that a memo, drafted in September by Michael Catanzaro, the then-White House special assistant for domestic energy and environmental policy, discussed three options for dealing with federal scientists’ data about the effects of man-made climate change.
The options included highlighting uncertainties in the data, reviewing the scientific studies under the Administrative Procedure Act, or simply ignoring them altogether, the Post reports.
None of the options suggested by Catanzaro involved publicly espousing the dangers of climate change highlighted in the data.
White House officials have not taken a formal stance on man-made climate change, and the Trump administration has faced criticism in the past for removing references to climate change from official websites.
In March, it was reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had sent staffers a list of eight “approved talking points” that sought to highlight a lack of evidence that ties humans to climate change.
“While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it,” read the email to EPA staffers.
A spokesperson for the EPA confirmed to The Hill that the talking points were “developed by the Office of Public Affairs” and added that the Trump administration continues to address climate change.
“The Agency’s work on climate adaptation continues under the leadership of Dr. Scheraga,” the spokesperson said.