Published: Fri, January 27, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Michigan Democrats ask Trump if freeze on EPA grants hits Flint

Michigan Democrats ask Trump if freeze on EPA grants hits Flint

This includes issuing task orders, work assignments to EPA contractors, grants and related activities. According to a Huffington Post report, the administration has also told the EPA not to issue any press releases, publish blog posts, or use social media until "further direction" is given.

"The US Department of Agriculture has banned scientists and other employees in its main research division from publicly sharing everything from the summaries of scientific papers to USDA-branded tweets as it starts to adjust to life under the Trump administration", BuzzFeed News reports.

In 2013, the most recent year on record, the EPA awarded more than $11 billion in contracts and grants that fund research, education, environmental testing, and remediation of former industrial sites across the country.

The main objective of the EPA's climate change section is to provide the public with accessible facts and scientific research on climate change. Trump transition-team member Myron Ebell told Reuters that while the Web pages will be removed, he speculates that "the links and information" will likely remain.

Doug Ericksen, the EPA's communications director for the transition, told National Public Radio that "we'll take a look at what's happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that's going to reflect the new administration".

This week, the Trump administration announced it was temporarily suspending any grants and contracts.

According to the Associated Press, Trump's team has placed a "temporary hold" on the release of work by EPA scientists, pending review by political appointees.

"We are refreshing the existing webpage", he said.

Trump's nominee to run the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is awaiting Senate confirmation.

The president also signed a flurry of executive orders on Tuesday-pledging to swiftly move forward with construction of both the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline-prompting immediate outcry from both Native American and environmental advocacy groups.

It's not clear whether taking down the EPA climate-change pages means deleting them or just making them unavailable from the EPA's website. A number of the others are against U.S. efforts to combat climate change.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not go further into this development, as it was breaking news at the time he entered the briefing room.

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