The official Twitter account of South Dakota’s Badlands National Park posted climate data Tuesday in apparent defiance of a Trump administration order temporarily prohibiting such messages.
The posts carried the hashtag “Climate” and were soon deleted.
Lake Superior’s summer surface water temperatures have increased by 4.5° F (2.5°C) since 1980. #Climate
— Badlands Nat’l Park (@BadlandsNPS) January 8, 2017
The amount of C02 in the atmosphere has risen by 25% since 1958, and by about 40% since the Industrial Revolution. #CarbonCycle #climate
— Badlands Nat’l Park (@BadlandsNPS) November 10, 2016
The Associated Press reported over the weekend that staff employees at the Interior Department were temporarily ordered to stop making posts to its Twitter account after the official account of the National Park Service retweeted a pair of photos that compared those gathered for Trump’s inauguration with the much larger crowd that attended Obama’s swearing-in.
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REPORTEDLY TOLD EPA TO FREEZE GRANTS, CONTRACTS
Emails sent to staff at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and reviewed by The Associated Press also detailed specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.
“Not the most inspiring time at EPA right now but we’re fighters,” an anonymous EPA staffer told Fox News.
The Trump administration has also ordered what it called a temporary suspension of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignments to EPA contractors. The orders were expected to have a significant and immediate impact on EPA activities nationwide. EPA contracts with outside vendors for a wide array of services, from engineering and research science to janitorial supplies.
“Yes to freeze on new contracts/grants and no new funding on existing ones,” the EPA source told Fox News. “There will supposedly be exceptions moving forward but unclear at this point.”
Similar orders barring external communications have been issued in recent days by the Trump administration at other federal agencies, including the departments of Transportation and Agriculture.
Staffers in EPA’s public affairs office are instructed to forward all inquiries from reporters to the Office of Administration and Resources Management.
“Incoming media requests will be carefully screened,” one directive said. “Only send out critical messages, as messages can be shared broadly and end up in the press.”
A review of EPA websites and social media accounts, which typically include numerous new posts each day, showed no new activity since Friday.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Tuesday he had no specific information on the blackout.
“I don’t think it’s any surprise that when there’s an administration turnover, that we’re going to review the policies,” Spicer said.
Doug Ericksen, the communications director for Trump’s transition team at EPA, said he expects the communications ban to be lifted by the end of this week.
“We’re just trying to get a handle on everything and make sure what goes out reflects the priorities of the new administration,” Ericksen said.
Fox News’ Serafin Gomez and the Associated Press contributed to this report.