According to the Independent article Donald Trump orders Environmental Protection Agency to delete all climate change information from its website

The Trump administration is forcing the Environmental Protection Agency to delete all of its pages on climate change.

The move comes as part of a much broader crackdown on postings by all agencies who track the effects of global warming on the environment. All of those organisations – as well as others, like the National Parks Service – have been banned from talking to the public by the US government.

Now scientists are scrambling to save some of the most important parts of the EPA's website before they are deleted off the internet entirely.

I am really struggling to believe this is an accurate report. After all, it doesn't seem to me that the US President has ever had full editorial control on any US agency site. Is this a correct representation of what is happening?

Is Donald Trump forcing the EPA to take down all climate change information?


2 Answers 2


There is new information on this topic by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (publisher of the famous journal Science), in the article Trump officials suspend plan to delete EPA climate web pages.

This article says that, though initially told to scrub climate change information, EPA employees have now been told not to do so.

The EPA still has numerous climate change websites up, in English and Spanish:

Climate Change

El cambio climático y usted

Update 6/7/2017:

The above pages have not been deleted, but they have been archived, with links to the archive provided. See the article The EPA posted a backup of its website dated just before inauguration day that @ff524 commented about for more info about the archive.

Now, when going to the links posted in my original answer, the user gets a message:

Thank you for your interest in this topic. We are currently updating our website to reflect EPA's priorities under the leadership of President Trump and Administrator Pruitt. If you're looking for an archived version of this page, you can find it on the January 19 snapshot

or for Spanish users:

Gracias por su interés en este tema. En la actualidad, estamos actualizando nuestro sitio web para reflejar las prioridades de la EPA bajo el liderazgo del presidente Trump y el administrador Pruitt. Si está buscando una versión archivada de esta página, la puede encontrar en la captura de pantalla del 19 de enero.

"Climate Change" is no longer mentioned on the EPA home page, but there is still climate change information within the website beyond just the archive, such as a Climate Change Indicators section.

  • 1
    So according to this article, the order did happen, but it has been challenged? Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 18:27
  • 3
    @called2voyage The article is saying the instruction to scrub did happen, but it has been suspended.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 18:30
  • 3
    Totally misread that as "Administrator Putin."
    – Kevin
    Commented Jun 7, 2017 at 21:49
  • 1
    It may be relevant to mention that the archive was apparently created in response to numerous FOIA requests, per EPA statement.
    – ff524
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 4:51

Regarding, your comment that "After all, it doesn't seem to me that the US President has ever had full editorial control on any US agency site", this is actually an unsettled issue:

Most regulatory statutes specify that agency heads rather than the President shall make regulatory decisions. Yet for more than four decades every President has established some program to require pre-decisional review and clearance of agency regulatory decisions, usually conducted by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). On January 18, 2011, President Barack Obama joined his seven predecessors in expressly endorsing regulatory review when he signed Executive Order 13,563. President Obama’s regulatory review program generally emulates those of his two most recent predecessors, relying on OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to review only the most significant agency rulemaking actions. Although this form of presidential oversight of rulemaking is now well established, an important, unresolved question is whether the President has the authority to dictate the substance of regulatory decisions entrusted by statute to agency heads. While proponents of a unitary executive argue in favor of presidential directive authority, this article demonstrates that each President’s regulatory review program has disclaimed such authority, even though OIRA at times has tried to displace agency decisionmaking.

Robert V. Percival, Who's In Charge? Does the President Have Directive Authority Over Agency Regulatory Decisions? , 79 Fordham L. Rev. 2487 (2011). Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/flr/vol79/iss6/2

(emphasis added)

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