Environmental watchdog alarmed by EPA media blackout

Environmental watchdog alarmed by EPA media blackout

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Louisiana environmental watchdog group has serious concerns tonight about the Trump administration instituting a temporary media blackout for the EPA. But, the state Republican Party says it's a good move.

Anne Rolfes with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade says the news is alarming. Her non-profit advocates for communities near oil refineries and chemical plants.

"We need to understand the pollution that we are living with, we need to be able to look up numbers, look at the accident rate and have the facts in order to prove the situation. We're really concerned now that the Trump administration will bury those facts and make it impossible to understand what's happening," said Rolfes.

But, the chairman of the Louisiana GOP backs the move.

"If there is important information, they're going to go through the State Department channels, and they're going to get it and approve it through the White House and the White House press can get it out. They're not going to hold anything back, it's just they don't want people speaking for the Trump administration when they don't have the leadership put in yet," said Louisiana GOP chairman Roger Villere Jr.

Fox 8 political analyst Mike Sherman also weighed in.

"We call it the bully pulpit for a reason. Presidents get to speak with one voice. Compare that to Congress, which has 535 voices. What President Trump is doing right now is elevating even the importance of that one voice by shutting out the ability for his own Cabinet officials and administrative agencies to speak to the media. Right now there is only one voice, it's coming through Twitter and through Donald Trump's statements to the press," Sherman said.

Copyright WVUE 2017. All rights reserved.