Gov. Hickenlooper is panicking about a message he received that the EPA will temporarily suspend grant and contract awards.
“We received notice today that the team from the new administration asked the EPA to temporarily suspend grant and contract awards. The communication was ambiguous and did not explain the duration or scope of the freeze. This freeze could potentially impact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s ability to carry out its federally mandated commitment to protect clean air, clean water and safe drinking water. We have sought clarification from the EPA and have asked for assistance from Senators Gardner and Bennet.”
We suspect he is not so concerned about the temporary suspension of anything scheduled to be awarded in the next week, merely piling on with the media hype surrounding it that the White House asked employees at the Environmental Protection Agency not to go mouthing off about it, which they immediately did, in droves.
After breathlessly reporting the memo leaked to them, the Washington Post actually allowed an observation that when a new administration takes over, it pauses the action until it can review what was set in motion moments before they walked in the door.
It is not unprecedented, said Myron Ebell, who oversaw the EPA transition for the new administration, because “they’re trying to freeze things to make sure nothing happens they don’t want to have happen, so any regulations going forward, contracts, grants, hires, they want to make sure to look at them first.”
The speed with which the former Obama administration was shoveling new regulations out the door as fast as they could before Trump took office gives merit to this action. We suspect the panic is caused by what we’re liable to find being put into place, unbeknownst to the new president.