Trump is rapidly making it clear that he is determined to not only wage war on the environment, but also on Environmental Agencies and employees.
This is a great time to learn more about PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a group that protects environmental whistleblowers inside the government: www.peer.org.
Every move Trump makes is another opening for the creation of a broad and radicalized social and ecological justice movement. Indeed, this is the movement we need if we are to sustain a future on this planet for all future. – Anne Petermann, GJEP
Trump Signs Pro-Pipeline Legislation
This week, President Trump took action to speed up permits for building the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipelines. The oil industry has greeted this action, but the strong coalition against the Dakota Access Pipeline has doubled down on it’s active resistance.
NPR interviewed Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), who says Donald Trump should be prepared for a long term.
“If this administration does not pull back from, you know, implementing these orders, it’s only going to result in more mass mobilization and civil disobedience on a scale never seen by a newly seated president,” Goldtooth told NPR.
Dallas Goldtooth’s father, Tom Goldtooth, is the executive director of IEN.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Sioux Tribes, as sovereign Native nations, were never consulted by Trump or his Administration on this decision that further violates the treaty rights of the Lakota, Nakota, Dakota people. Trump is portraying his true self by joining forces with the darkness of the Black Snake pipelines crossing across the culturally and environmentally rich landscape of the prairie lands of America,” Tom Goldtooth said in a press statement.
Government Agencies Silenced
Reuters reports that “employees at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have seen directives from the newly minted leadership seeking to limit how they communicate to the public, according to multiple sources.
The EPA also was asked by the White House on Monday to temporarily halt all contracts and grants pending a review, according to multiple sources. The EPA awards billions of dollars worth of grants and contracts every year to support programs around environmental testing, cleanups and research.”
Government social media accounts were temporarily shut down in apparent retaliation for forwarding a story that the crowd in attendance for the Trump inauguration was smaller than Obama’s. It signals that a notoriously thin-skinned President may censor not just federal social media but websites and reports, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
On Friday afternoon shortly after Donald Trump took the oath of office, the National Park Service (NPS) retweeted two news reports: one with photos showing a smaller crowd for the Trump inauguration than Obama drew in 2009. The other recounted White House web postings on topics such as climate and civil rights had been scrubbed. Within hours, an “urgent” message went out that the entire Interior Department, not only NPS, was “directed by incoming administration to shut down twitter platforms immediately until further notice” and to “contact your bureau web staff immediately and make sure they are complying.”
By mid-morning Saturday, however, the Twitter platforms were reopened after the Trump people had provided “social media guidance” according to an Interior spokesperson. The two re-tweets had been removed from the official feed and replaced by this apology from the NPS:
“We regret the mistaken RTs [retweets] from our account yesterday and look forward to continuing to share the beauty and history of our parks with you.”
“This episode suggests that federal civil servants must now screen factual information for potential political sensitivity prior to public release,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, questioning whether the Trump “social media guidance” had been reduced to writing. “Based on the nervous chatter we are hearing from agency employees, there is already a distinct chilling effect – and perhaps that is precisely the new White House’s intent.”