President Donald J. Trump has shown he’s no fan of several federal agencies he believes are overly politicized to the point of acting beyond their mandates to stifle economic growth and saddle the business and industrial communities with onerous regulations.
One of those is the Environmental Protection Agency, which helps explain why he appointed a frequent EPA critic, Scott Pruitt – a former Oklahoma attorney general who often took the EPA to court – as its administrator.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Open Data Web service – which stores information on climate change, life cycle assessment, health impact analysis and environmental justice – is to have its funding removed and will no longer be in operation, according to people working on the plan. A pop-up on the site appears to confirm the shutdown, with anyone visiting the Open Data page told that the site will not be operational from Friday.
Of course, #nevertrumpers and perpetually angry Leftists groan. That’s so Trump, isn’t it? “He’s just blowing up everything!”
Only – he’s not.
The Washington Free Beaconcorrected the record Monday, reporting that a contractor for the EPA who was “devastated” by Clinton’s historic loss (no female candidate for the Democratic Party has ever lost the presidential race twice) to Trump put out the false story.
“The EPA’s Open Data Service, where users can look up EPA facilities in their area and view pollution graphs, will continue to operate, despite several news reports to the contrary,” the WFB reported.
The site noted that Bernadette Hyland, a contractor with access to the EPA data site, has been quoted in a number of news reports, including The Independent, which claimed incorrectly that Trump “is to completely shut down one of the government’s most important data services.”
That story was based on claims Hyland made in a piece she posted at Medium over the weekend stating she was told by the agency that there would be no further funding to operate the data site. She has since updated her post, including a tweet from the EPA, refuting her earlier claims.
In her original post she wrote:
Last week, after numerous conversations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Information (OEI), and various technical contractors who support them, we were notified that funding is not available to continue operation [sic] U.S. EPA’s flagship Open Data Web service. The EPA Open Data Web service represents the U.S. government’s largest civilian linked data service.
Hyland was also the source for additional stories in publications including Popular Science and EcoWatch, the WFB reported.
“This is a contractor sending inappropriate and unauthorized communications on the EPA’s behalf,” J.P. Freire, an agency spokesman, said. “The website isn’t going anywhere and this episode has nothing to do with contingency plans in case of a [government] shutdown.”
The WFB noted that Hyland is a longtime supporter of Hillary Clinton, donating $1,700 to her failed 2008 campaign and $250 to the Democratic National Committee in 2004.
Hyland tweeted this on Election Night after it was apparent that Trump was going to defeat Clinton:
Besides, Congress sets the budget for each federal agency, and the president either signs the funding legislation or he doesn’t. The agency chiefs then control spending priorities, which are generally in line with the president’s policies and agenda. The money that the EPA is currently operating on was approved by Congress during the Obama administration.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.