The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture are the latest targets of media blackouts ordered by the Trump administration during the new president’s first few days in office.
GeekWire confirmed that a memo barring the release of public-facing documents, including summaries of scientific papers and social media posts, was sent out to USDA employees. The email sparked confusion because those researchers are required to do some public outreach in their capacity as public servants.
The EPA, meanwhile, was ordered to cease all grant and contract awards, press, and other operations, according to emails obtained by The Associated Press. The Trump administration ordered the agency not to publish press releases, blog posts or updates to social media pages, AP reports.
The last tweets from the USDA and EPA were sent before Trump’s inauguration.
A number of government agencies have faced Trump’s ire, including the National Park Service. The agency was asked by the Trump administration to temporarily halt Twitter activity after retweeting a photo that compared the crowds at President Obama and President Trump’s inaugurations. The retweet has since been deleted and the park service issued an apology.
We regret the mistaken RTs from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you pic.twitter.com/mctNNvlrmv
— NationalParkService (@NatlParkService) January 21, 2017
The temporary ban was felt across local NPS services, including Washington state’s Mount Rainier National Park.
Until further notice, all park road condition updates will provided on the Mount Rainier Facebook page https://t.co/JwFuETkGnM.
— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) January 20, 2017
We will be resuming our normal activity on Twitter. Thx for your patience. -pw
— MountRainierNPS (@MountRainierNPS) January 22, 2017
Trump has repeatedly vowed to slash regulation across federal agencies, saying this morning that it could be reduced by “75 percent, maybe more.”
Both the EPA and USDA conduct research on the impact of greenhouse gasses and climate change, which might explain the public blackouts. That research could present an obstacle on the Trump administration’s path to “embrace the shale oil and gas revolution to bring jobs.”