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February 21, 2017

EIA response to false claims in recent articles from ProPublica and The Atlantic

A recent web article by ProPublica (Child’s Play: Team Trump Rewrites a Department of Energy Website for Kids, February 17, 2017) that was republished by The Atlantic on its website (A Government Website for Kids Scrubbed Its Climate Warnings, February 17, 2017) alleges that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) changed the information on its website as a result of political pressure from the new administration.

EIA strongly denies this allegation and is seeking retractions.   “Contrary to the headlines and content of the articles, EIA has never been contacted by anyone in the new administration regarding the content of any part of EIA’s website,” said EIA Deputy Administrator Howard Gruenspecht, who also currently serves as the Acting Administrator.   EIA operations, including the management of its web content, continue under the same procedures that have been used for many years, including the long-standing practice of making ongoing updates and improvements to EIA.gov, as well as the publication of new and expanded data products and articles on a wide range of energy topics.

The author of the ProPublica article had contacted EIA prior to publication and was told that no interactions between EIA and the new administration had occurred.  As both articles state, by law, “the agency’s data, analyses, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the U.S. government.” And, as pointed out by EIA’s official spokesperson to the reporter who contacted EIA, “for the most part, the information that you talk about being deleted is still there, either in a different place or worded slightly differently.”  

EIA remains fully committed to its mission of providing independent and impartial energy information.

The product described in this press release was prepared by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical and analytical agency within the U.S. Department of Energy. By law, EIA's data, analysis, and forecasts are independent of approval by any other officer or employee of the United States Government. The views in the product and press release therefore should not be construed as representing those of the Department of Energy or other federal agencies.

EIA Press Contact: Jonathan Cogan, 202-586-8719, jonathan.cogan@eia.gov