Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

President Trump won't admit it, but he's taking credit for something President Obama did. In a speech at the Energy Department Thursday, Trump is expected to tout America's oil and natural gas boom, and in particular how his administration is green lighting exports of liquified natural gas (LNG), which has been a presidential talking point for the last few months.

But it was actually the Obama administration that approved nearly all of the LNG poised to be exported, and Trump is so far just reiterating what his predecessor did.

Expand chart

Why it matters: The Trump administration has displayed a lot of positive rhetoric about LNG exports, but so far it hasn't made any explicit policy changes to how the federal government reviews applications for LNG. An Energy Department spokeswoman declined on Wednesday to say whether Trump will make any related policy announcements in his speech Thursday.

How it works: Under current law, countries that do have free-trade agreements with the U.S. get a near automatic approval from the federal government to receive U.S. LNG. Applications seeking to export to countries that aren't free-trade partners with the U.S. must go through a two-step review process to show such exports are in the U.S. national interest. The Energy Department has approved additional LNG export applications under Trump, continuing what Obama did.

What's already done: Under Obama, the Energy Department rejiggered the way federal reviews are done to speed up — not slow down — the whole process, to the chagrin of some environmental groups. In 2014, the Energy Department cut down the process, which also involves the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, from three steps to two.

What more could be done: Rhetoric encouraging countries, like China, to import LNG from the U.S. has been the main thing Trump is doing so far. To really change things, Trump could do one of the following things:

  1. Push Congress to change the 1938 law governing exports of LNG, which is unlikely given lawmakers' unwillingness to change most long-standing laws.
  2. Further condense the federal review process.
  3. Strike more free-trade deals, which seems unlikely given his positions on current trade deals.

To be sure: Obama took credit for things his predecessor did too. In 2011, he was touting increased offshore oil and natural gas production, even though a top official in his administration at the time said such increases were due to policies his predecessor, George W. Bush, put in place that increased access to federal waters.

Go deeper

Arizona Judge: Adding mask mandates ban to budget bill is unconstitutional

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An Arizona judge ruled Monday that the state's ban on mask mandates in schools, and other measures put into the state budget by Republicans, are unconstitutional, the Arizona Republic reports.

Why it matters: The sweeping ruling voids a ban on vaccine requirements for public universities, community colleges and local governments, and strikes down some non-COVID-related measures like a ban on teaching critical race theory in classrooms and anti-fraud measures for ballots.

Activision to set up $18M victims fund in response to harassment suit

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard announced plans Monday to settle a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hours after it was filed.

Why it matters: This is Activision's most visible acknowledgment of problems at the company, in the wake of a series of workplace misconduct lawsuits, complaints and investigations initiated against the "Call of Duty" and "World of Warcraft" maker since the summer.

Pfizer testing oral pill for prevention of COVID

Photo: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pfizer announced Monday that it is testing an oral antiviral drug that would help prevent COVID-19.

Why it matters: This drug is one of several antiviral pills that could have a massive impact on coronavirus treatment since not everyone will get a vaccine, and it may take years to fully vaccinate people in certain countries, per Axios' Alison Snyder.