Speed Reads

Trump v Climate Science

Official blames rogue Badlands National Park tweets on rogue former employee

On Tuesday, the official Twitter account for Badlands National Park in South Dakota briefly became the unlikely face of resistance to President Trump's apparent clampdown on public comments from federal agencies that study climate change. The series of tweets stating facts about carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and rise in oceanic acidity were removed later Tuesday, but an unidentified official told Reuters, BuzzFeed News, and other media organizations that Trump did not order the removal, blaming the errant tweets on a rogue former employee.

"Several tweets posted on the Badlands National Park's Twitter account today were posted by a former employee who was not currently authorized to use the park's account," a National Parks official said. "The park was not told to remove the tweets but chose to do so when they realized that their account had been compromised." Badlands park superintendent Michael Pflaum told Quartz he had been unaware of the tweets since the park's "got the full on-scale blizzard going" and "we've been working on digging out, plowing roads." The woman who handles social media was working from home, he added.

The National Park Service has apparently not been subjected to the same gag order reportedly imposed on the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Health and Human Services Department. On Tuesday night, Reuters reported that the Trump administration has ordered the EPA to take down the climate change section of its website by as early as Tuesday, following the freeze of all contracts and grants.