The Environmental Protection Agency reportedly has blocked a long-planned address on climate change Monday by three agency scientists.
The scientists were scheduled to present at the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, the largest estuary in New England, and an initiative the EPA has in the past helped to fund through federal grants. The cancellation of Monday’s address was first reported by The New York Times.
The three officials — Autumn Oczkowski and Rose Martin, both of whom work at an EPA research laboratory in Rhode Island, and Emily Shumchenia, an agency consultant — are co-authors of a report on climate change and its effects on the estuary.
The cancellation comes at a time that critics say the administration is trying to suppress climate research; the agency already has scrubbed significant sections of its website to remove climate change research.
Under President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the agency has placed far less focus on climate change. Instead, Mr. Pruitt has said the agency is getting “back to basics” by focusing most of its attention on hazardous site clean-up, clean air and water, and repealing many regulations put in place during the Obama administration.
Mr. Pruitt has said he believes man-made climate change is real, but has questioned whether greenhouse gases are the primary reason.
As for the speech, conference organizers say they see the EPA move as clear scientific censorship.
“They don’t believe in climate change, so I think what they’re trying to do is stifle discussions of the impacts of climate change,” John King, a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and chairman of the estuary program’s science advisory committee, told The New York Times.
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