Well, that didn’t take long.

The morning of President Trump’s inauguration, several webpages outlining official policy and priorities on the White House website were removed or replaced with new text. Those pages include information about LGBT rights, civil rights, law enforcement and climate change.

It’s not unusual for an incoming administration to change material on the whitehouse.gov site. But it’s also a window into the new president’s priorities and how he might frame various solutions to the nation’s problems.

According to a javascript program run by KQED, the climate change page on the White House website kicked the bucket at 11:52 a.m. EST.

Websites accessed at 12:40 p.m. PST, Jan. 20, 2017.
Websites accessed at 12:40 p.m. PST, Jan. 20, 2017.

Following the page’s removal, a new energy website appeared with the title “An America First Energy Plan.” It outlines the administration’s goals to exploit oil and gas reserves and to revive the coal industry.

Ironically —  or not — the page change comes during the same week NASA and NOAA reported that global warming contributed to 2016 being the hottest year since modern record keeping began in 1880. (The main contributor to global warming is the burning of fossil fuels.) Scientists have been fearful that the Trump administration would destroy climate change data, and have begun archiving and saving historical climate records.

On Twitter many reacted to removal of the White House climate change site. The Wall Street Journal’s energy policy reporter, Amy Harder, for instance eulogized:

You can find the old Obama administration whitehouse.gov page here. 

Trump administration website accessed at 12:40 p.m.:
Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 12.42.15 PM

Obama administration website accessed at 12:40 p.m.:
Screen Shot 2017-01-20 at 12.41.47 PM

White House Removes Climate Change Webpage After Trump’s Inauguration 20 January,2017Lindsey Hoshaw

  • Gibarian

    “Those pages include information about LGBT rights, civil rights, law enforcement and climate change”

    Yet another case of selective reporting in the news media. The whitehouse.gov page also removed pages about the Economy, so we must therefore assume the Trump administration does not believe in money either.

    The page on LGBT rights was titled “President Obama’s accomplishments on LGBT rights.” Of course it is appropriate to remove it, but your article’s implication is the white house is now anti-gay, which is not necessarily the case if you look at Trump’s history of membership criteria at Mar-a-Lago, his frequenting of Studio 54 in the 1970’s, and is acceptance speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

    Does KQED hire editors to check for bias? My impression is you are pandering to your Bay Area member base, which is an uncomfortable conflict of interest for your reporters. Those who are not unbalanced face less pledge drive ROI and risk their jobs.

    • Lola Themola

      You’re trying too hard, Gibarian. It’s true, that the pages on climate change and lgbt seem to have come down as part of the migrating from Obama to Trump process, not necessarily scrubbed by Trump. But, the issues section that Trump has put up is devoid of mention of climate change, lgbt rights, civil rights, etc. And it does include plenty of mention of America First economic issues. It’s fair to say that civil rights and climate change do not figure enough with Trump to rank a spot on his “issues” page. No surprise. He made it quite clear during his campaign that he was happy to deny climate change, happy to deny civil rights to pretty much any and everyone, except perhaps the billionaire class. If you want to defend him, Gibarian, just do it on the basis of his racist, sexist, anti-semitic, nativist, anti-immigrant, etc. policies. Don’t try to make excuses.


Lindsey Hoshaw

Lindsey Hoshaw is an interactive producer for KQED Science. Before joining KQED, Lindsey was a science correspondent for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Forbes and Scientific American. On Twitter @lindseyhoshaw


Lisa Pickoff-White

Lisa Pickoff-White is KQED’s data reporter. Lisa specializes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them to life through compelling visuals, including photography and data visualizations. She previously has worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting and other national outlets. Her work has been honored with awards from the Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and SXSW Interactive.  Follow: @pickoffwhite Email: lpickoffwhite@kqed.org

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