Via Climate Nexus – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com
EPA Faces a Freeze & Friendly Fire: The EPA has been ordered to freeze all its grants and contracts, including programs for climate research, environmental justice, and pollution prevention, according to internal communications leaked anonymously to several outlets Monday evening. It’s unclear if the freeze is permanent, and EPA staff are under orders to not discuss the move outside the agency, the sources told press. News of the freeze and gag order comes a day after Axios leaked details of the transition team’s “agency action” plan for EPA, which accuses EPA of “us[ing] regulatory policy to steer the science” and recommends that the agency stop funding science and overhaul its internal science advisory process “to eliminate conflicts of interest and inherent bias.” Axios also quoted a Republican lobbyist who flags “dozens” of EPA-related executive orders coming down the pike in the next month. Sources: (Grant freeze: Huffington Post, ProPublica, Washington Post $, The Hill. Agency action plan: Axios, The Hill. EOs: Axios. Commentary: Vox, Brad Plumer analysis, Buzzfeed, Dino Grandoni analysis)
CDC, Fearing Trump, Pulls Climate Summit: The Centers for Disease Control has “quietly” cancelled an upcoming summit on public health and climate change, Climatewire reported Monday. The summit, originally scheduled to occur next month in Atlanta, had a focus on the current science between climate and health and the “translation of science to practice” in dealing with the issue. While CDC officials told summit participants they were “exploring options” for rescheduling, former CDC staff and experts stipulate that it’s likely the agency nixed the summit to avoid political reprisal from the Trump administration. (Climatewire, Washington Post $, WSJ $, AP, CNN, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, The Hill, The Verge, AJC)
Trump Eyes DAPL As Water Protectors Regroup: In his first official press conference as White House press secretary, Sean Spicer strongly implied that the Trump administration will push through both the Dakota Access and Keystone pipelines as part of its “America First” energy plan. When asked about executive order plans for both pipelines, Spicer deferred on providing specifics, but added that the pipelines are “areas that we can increase jobs, increase economic grown, and tap into America’s energy supply.” Spicer’s comments come a few days after the Standing Rock Sioux tribal council, anticipating messy spring floods, passed a resolution ordering protesters to vacate the Cannon Ball site by January 30. In the leadup to last week’s inauguration, dozens of protesters were arrested as the movement regroups around strategies to face the new administration and extend demonstrations beyond North Dakota.