The Environmental Protection Agency relaunched its website’s climate change section on Thursday, nearly four years after the Trump administration took it offline in a bid to downplay the threats of unchecked greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate facts are back on EPA’s website where they should be,” said EPA administrator Michael Regan in a press statement. “Considering the urgency of this crisis, it’s critical that Americans have access to information and resources so that we can all play a role in protecting our environment, our health, and vulnerable communities. Trustworthy, science-based information is at the foundation of strong, achievable solutions.”
The site contains resources on climate data research as well as clean energy programs designed to reduce emissions. A banner on its homepage promises “new information and features” in the coming weeks and reiterates President Joe Biden’s commitment to making the climate crisis a priority.
“It is the policy of my Administration to organize and deploy the full capacity of its agencies to combat the climate crisis,” reads a statement from Biden.
Former President Donald Trump, a vocal climate change skeptic, began pushing to ax the site practically from the moment he entered the White House. In April 2017, the agency removed the climate change section of its site under the pretense of updating outdated information, when really the only outdated information was that being spewed by then-EPA chief Scott Pruitt and other administration officials, who frequently disputed the extent to which human activities contribute to climate change. A few of these climate change-related pages later returned under the more generic label of “energy resources,” but the majority remained MIA until Thursday.
To celebrate the sub-site’s relaunch, the EPA shared a video message in which Regan reaffirmed the agency’s priorities amid the Biden administration.
“Americans in every corner of our country are seeing and feeling the effects of climate change,” he said. “Combating climate change, it’s not optional, it’s essential at EPA.”
In January, Biden signed a series of executive actions aimed at tackling climate change. These included establishing the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy and a National Climate Task Force to coordinate and execute climate change policies, pausing new oil and gas leases on public lands and in offshore waters, and cutting federal subsidies for fossil fuels where possible, among others.