President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on June 1. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday allowing agencies to accelerate infrastructure projects that may have significant environmental impact without formally weighing those potential consequences or requesting public input, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The move is based on Trump identifying the coronavirus pandemic as an economic emergency, which waives the usual rules that federal agencies follow when reviewing projects like highways and energy infrastructure.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Amy Harder: This move is inflaming America's already hyper-charged debates around environmental safeguards, the pandemic and racial discrimination in communities of color.

The big picture: The coronavirus adversely impacts people more with existing respiratory problems, which scientists say can be caused by air pollution. Communities of color are often closest to polluting facilities like oil refineries and coal plants, putting them at yet another disadvantage when it comes to the combined effects of the virus and environmental problems.

  • The administration has rolled back at least 66 environmental and climate-focused policies, with a focus on revising or repealing Obama-era rules on air pollution, drilling and infrastructure, per a New York Times analysis.

Flashback: The Environmental Protection Agency said in late March that it would not take action against power plants and other facilities that violate rules on air and water pollution or handling hazardous waste if those breaches were the result of the pandemic.

Yes, but: Some experts suggest the move is more bark than bite, and legal challenges are expected regardless.

Go deeper: Removal of EPA waterway protections set to go into effect in June

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Exclusive: The N.Y. Times doubles down on TV and film ambitions

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of the country's oldest and most established media companies is starting to look more like a Hollywood studio than a traditional newspaper.

Driving the news: The New York Times has 10 scripted TV show projects in development, as well as 3 feature documentaries coming out this year and several other documentary projects in development and production, executives tell Axios.

Electric vehicle companies are reeling in cash without producing a car

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

These are heady days for electric vehicle companies, with a lack of actual car production becoming a popular norm.

Why it matters: The capital infusion is the latest in a busy stretch of deals and market moves that suggest private investors and equity markets see big potential in technologies that now represent a tiny slice of the global vehicle fleet.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Federal government carries out first execution since 2003

Lethal injection facility in San Quentin, California. Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via Getty Images

The first execution carried out by the federal government since 2003 took place on Tuesday at a federal prison in Indiana after an early-morning Supreme Court decision allowed it to move forward, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: A lower court had delayed the execution, saying inmates had provided evidence the government's plan to carry out executions using lethal injections "poses an unconstitutionally significant risk of serious pain."