Things are just getting hotter — literally and figuratively — in U.S. politics because if the Trump's administration's environmental policies aren't enough to worry scientists about their indifference toward the pressing problem of climate change, employees of the Department of Energy's International Climate and Clean Energy office has now allegedly been banned from using the terms "climate change," "emissions reduction," and "Paris Agreement" in memos or briefings.
The alleged ban on using the words would be a little problematic for the office, since from the name of the office itself, it's pretty clear that they handle matters that are related to the topic of climate change. In fact, the office has regular contact with foreign countries as a part of the role of the United States in advancing clean energy.
According to Politico, one of the media outlets that some may remember to have been blocked from attending a media gaggle at the White House, a supervisor from the department gave the announcement about the banned phrases earlier this week.
It was apparently Tuesday, March 28, about the same time that the president signed an executive order at the EPA to practically reverse all the Obama-era climate regulations and initiatives, that employees at the DOE's International Climate and Clean Energy office were given the notice. The other offices in the department, however, did not receive anything, though they have also reduced their usage of the phrases given the administration's recent movements.
It is said that senior officials at the DOE mentioned that the usage of the words would cause a "visceral reaction" from the staff and White House advisers of DOE Secretary Rick Perry, whose stand on climate change is still a little vague.
Are the rumors true? There's no saying for sure. A spokesperson from the DOE has already denied the said directive, saying that no words or phrases have been banned from usage in the entire department. What's more, other offices have also denied receiving a memo on the matter in any form. However, directive or not, employees sure are walking on eggs when it comes to using certain words that could trigger negative reactions.
"We have definitively not received anything on banned words, not even orally, but people are doing a lot of reading into tea leaves. People are taking their own initiatives to not use certain words based on hints from transition people," said a State Department official.