On Trump's White House website, no more mention of climate change

Well, that was fast.

Scientists, environmentalists and other concerned citizens were quick to notice that there is no longer any mention of climate change on the new White House website

It’s a significant departure from how the site looked Friday morning, when President Obama was still in charge. His administration dedicated a page to the issue that began with the following quote from the now-former president:

“Someday, our children, and our children’s children, will look at us in the eye and they’ll ask us, did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safe, more stable world?” 

That page is archived here.

It is not surprising that the Trump administration removed the former president’s policy pages from the White House website. The materials on the website are meant to be statements of the current administration’s policies — not those of their predecessors.

Indeed, President Obama’s team did the same thing when he was first sworn into office. 

While the Trump version of the site does not offer an official position on climate change, it does have a section on what it calls the America First Energy Plan.

“For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry,” it states. “President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.” 

The statement goes on to spell out a commitment to “embrace the shale oil and gas revolution” (a reference to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking) and to support “clean coal.”

Toward the bottom of the page is a reference to preserving natural resources.

“Lastly, our need for energy must go hand-in-hand with responsible stewardship of the environment,” the statement reads. “Protecting clean air and clean water, conserving our natural habitats, and preserving our natural reserves and resources will remain a high priority.”

David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, was not reassured. 

“It will take a lot more than the stroke of a key to erase the effects of climate change, it will take a plan,” Yarnold said in a statement. “As with the healthcare millions of Americans depend on, we expect President Trump to have a science-based replacement in hand to make progress toward confronting the climate crisis threatening our birds and our communities.”

Sam Adams, U.S. director of the World Resources Institute, agreed.

“It’s truly disturbing that one of the first actions by the Trump administration is to remove nearly all references to climate change from the White House website,” he said in a statement. “The website’s lone climate reference is to eliminate the Climate Action Plan, which is a wholesale attack that flies in the face of common sense and would do harm to all Americans.”

deborah.netburn@latimes.com

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