Photo: AP

Car enthusiasts may not dig talking about it, but the Environmental Protection Agency plays a significant role in how the auto industry functions. Just this month, against the automakers’ wishes, the agency moved to lock in regulations for vehicle efficiency standards. But things appear tense at the EPA, now under the new administration of Donald Trump.

Advertisement

Trump’s administration reportedly instituted what’s essentially a media blackout from the EPA—no press releases, blogs, tweets, nothing. The agency can’t award new contracts or grants; in 2013 alone, the EPA reportedly awarded $9.6 billion in grants.

Emails circulating in news reports portray an agency that’s basically in flux, or as one described in an email obtained by ProPublica, a “holding pattern.”

Advertisement

“The new EPA administration has asked that all contract and grant awards be temporarily suspended, effective immediately,” the email said. “Until we receive further clarification, this includes task orders and work assignments.”

Trump’s administration claims the move is only temporary—a spokesperson said the communications ban in particular could be lifted by week’s end—but, really, with Trump now loudly proclaiming that environmentalism is “out of control,” this doesn’t seem normal. One executive for an environmental advocacy group analogized it to the Lord of the Rings, saying that “we’re watching the dark cloud of Mordor extend over federal service.”

So, we want to know: do you work at the EPA? Tell us what’s going on. If you’d like to share, you can email me here, send an email to our tips line, or leave a comment below. Your remarks will be kept anonymous if you prefer.