The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) canceled scheduled talks during a Rhode Island conference about climate change. The talks were going to feature three agency scientists who were going to speak on environmental issues.
EPA spokesman and former Trump aide John Konkus confirmed on Sunday that none of the scheduled scientists would not be speaking at the State of the Narragansett Bay and Watershed event in Providence Rhode Island that was scheduled to take place on Monday.
"EPA scientists are attending, they simply are not presenting, it is not an EPA conference," said Konkus in a statement to The Hill.
According to The New York Times, the scientists who were planning to participate in the program said the event was mostly about climate change and they were surprised to learn they would not be presenting especially because the Narragansett Bay and Watershed program is partially funded by the EPA. The agency has given around $600,000 a year for the past six years to the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program and other estuaries in the country.
Scientists planned to speak about their research and findings regarding climate change and its negative impact the Narragansett Bay and the many challenges it faces to survive. The scientists were going to present and summarize their findings from the 2017 Narragansett Bay Estuary Program Technical Report – a 500-page report about the status of the Narragansett Bay. Autumn Oczkowski, a research ecologist at the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory Atlantic Ecology Division in Rhode Island was going to deliver the keynote speech on climate change, while two of her colleagues were going to participate in other related panel discussions.
This recent move by the EPA comes days after EPA administrator Scott Pruitt decided to put a regulation on funds used by scientists on the advisory board for research. Last week, the EPA removed dozens of online resources related to climate change from their website. The documents and web pages were there to help local officials prepare for climate change.