WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants.
Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency's social media accounts.
The Trump administration has also ordered a "temporary" suspension of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders are expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide.
The EPA did not respond to phone calls and emails requesting comment Monday or Tuesday.
The future of the EPA has been in question ever since Trump nominated Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a longtime legal foe of the agency, to be its new director. Pruitt is currently undergoing confirmation proceedings.
Meanwhile, a D.C. appellate court decision on the Clean Power Plan could arrive any day now. The centerpiece of President Obama’s approach to carbon pollution from power plants, the CPP is being challenged by 24 states and some energy-sector companies. The CPP calls for a 32-percent reduction in power-plant carbon emissions below 2005 levels by 2030.
The Associated Press and Editors of POWERGRID International and Electric Light & Power contributed to this report.