This Wednesday Gretchen Gehrke, cofounder of EDGI and leader of EDGI’s Website Governance Project (WGP), will speak at the Internet Archive’s event ‘Building Democracy’s Library,’ an inauguration of the new Internet Archive project Democracy’s Library, “a free, open, online compendium of government research and publications from around the world.”
With the help of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, EDGI’s WGP has tracked and analyzed changes to thousands of federal environmental websites, enabling EDGI to document, analyze, and sound the alarm when problematic changes have been made to critical public web resources
Gretchen will present a case study from this research demonstrating the need for Democracy’s Library: the Trump EPA’s removal of its Clean Power Plan website in 2017. Five months before opening a public comment period about its proposed repeal, the EPA redirected 108 webpages about the Clean Power Plan — with resources that ranged from fact sheets for communities to sector- and facility-specific technical details and projections — to a single webpage entitled “Energy Independence” that was devoid of information about the Clean Power Plan. This move to suppress public access to information was one example of many throughout the Trump administration, and both was and is entirely legal under current federal information policies.
For the public to be able to meaningfully participate in and have democratic oversight of environmental governance, we need information policies that protect information and the integrity of that information, and we need Democracy’s Library now.
The event is this Wednesday October 19th at 7pm PST. You can attend online or in person at the Internet Archive at 300 Funston Ave. at Clement St., San Francisco. Register here.