The Trump administration has installed signs inside the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) headquarters celebrating “environmental achievements” by the agency in President Trump’s first year in office, including repealing two of former President Obama’s landmark climate change rules.
The posters, which some employees say feel like “propaganda,” feature photographs of President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to mark “A year of great environmental achievements for America,” specifically touting the repeal of the “so-called Clean Power Plan” and “the proposal to review and revise” the Clean Water Rule.
EPA has put these posters up at agency buildings. Celebrating regulatory rollbacks pic.twitter.com/vwGHy54oq9
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) January 25, 2018
“The posters speak for themselves and all EPA employees should take pride in the good work they’ve achieved this past year, and will continue to achieve over the next 7 years,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement.
The League of Conservation Voters, a group which grades lawmakers for their environmental votes, gave Trump an F in December for his first year, compared with B+ for President Barack Obama’s first year and D- for President George W. Bush’s first year.
“Pruitt has been doing this forever, he updates these posters dedicated to himself continuously,” said Elizabeth Southerland, who was the director of science and technology in the agency’s Office of Water until July. “It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen.”
The 33-year EPA veteran who has worked under the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations, said no other president or administrator has created these types of posters.
“Under Clinton, Bush and Obama you never saw a picture of the administrator,” she said. “Pruitt has created a cult of personality, it’s very much about him.”
“This is an attempt at creating good ‘publicity’ among employees, the administration is attempting to create an atmosphere of good feeling about our changed mission, but it’s not working,” said Gary Morton, who has worked at the agency since 1992 and is and president of AFGE local 3631, which represents EPA workers.
“The same administration that is putting up these posters has a plan to decrease our workforce by 1,200 employees,” he added. “They’ve made it no secret that they plan to decrease our ability to protect human health and the environment.”