One of the main targets of the new administration is the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the worst offenders in Washington D.C. Said to have been inundated with employees who were reduced to tears after Trump won the election, the agency's concerns that their reign of regulations is coming to an end proved to be well-founded as Trump's transition team has drawn up plans to cut their funding as well as subject their public meetings and presentations to vetting beforehand:
“Uncertainty about the fate of some agency information on greenhouse gases is not only upsetting scientists and some within the EPA, but it also has prompted associations of natural gas companies and utilities that rely on EPA data on greenhouse gas emissions to take precautions. Politico Pro on Wednesday published excerpts from emails circulated to members of the American Gas Association and Edison Electric Institute recommending that members not rely on agency archives. A gas-industry official confirmed the details in an interview with ProPublica.
At EPA headquarters, the mood remains dark. A longtime career communications employee said in a phone interview Tuesday that more than a few friends were “coming to work in tears” each morning as they grappled with balancing the practical need to keep their jobs with their concerns for the issues they work on.
To be sure, the EPA is an agency where information has been tightly controlled for many years, including under the Obama administration, which was harshly criticized by the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2013 for having “taken secrecy to a new level.”
The EPA’s sheer size, with 10 regions and more than 14,000 employees, guarantees some level of confusion, as well. From headquarters through the regional offices, employees said they still hadn’t confirmed if a freeze on work under hundreds of existing contracts, described in a headquarters memo acquired on Monday by ProPublica, applied to vital actions like responding to spills.
Reached by phone in an EPA western regional office Tuesday, a longtime EPA career employee who works on emergency responses, said that, despite the signals from Washington, “We’re not shutting down operations.”