According to a Wednesday report by POLITICO, Energy Department staff will no longer be permitted to use the phrases “climate change,” “emissions reduction” or “Paris Agreement” in written memos or briefings. According to sources at the Energy Department, this new rule is meant to prevent “a ‘visceral reaction’ with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, his immediate staff, and the cadre of White House advisers at the top of the department.”
Department of Energy employees are instead being pressured to focus on keywords such as “jobs” and “infrastructure.”
Since being inaugurated, President Trump has, in many ways, contributed to a culture of censorship, defunding organizations that offer information about abortion, and shutting down the Twitter accounts of federal agencies that criticized him. But in particular, the Trump administration has worked vigorously to hide the truth about climate change, deleting research about global warming and attempting to delete Environmental Protection Agency climate pages. EPA head Scott Pruitt, whose career prior to being appointed focused heavily on suing the EPA as Oklahoma attorney general, did not even mention the phrase in his first speech as EPA administrator.
According to POLITICO, the office “plays a key role in U.S. participation in the Clean Energy Ministerial and Mission Innovation, two international efforts launched under Obama that were designed to advance clean energy technology.” Planning and negotiating global efforts to reduce emissions are likely to be highly unproductive if discussion of climate change and emissions are prohibited.
The Energy Department’s latest decision follows Trump’s latest executive order, which slashes the guarantees of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan and seeks to restore hundreds of coal-fired power plants and cease construction of new wind and solar energy plants.