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Sait Serkan Gurbuz / AP

President Trump issued an Earth Day statement Saturday that promotes his environmental approach and underscores his sharp break with Obama-era policies.

Why it matters: Trump's statement arrives amid the "March for Science" in Washington, D.C., and cities worldwide, where demonstrators are in the streets decrying Trump's moves to cut funding for science programs, and unwind various environmental and climate regulations.

My Administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.—President Trump

What it doesn't say: The statement breaks with many of Obama's Earth Day messages by omitting any mention of climate change.

Battle lines: The 188-word statement seeks to parry arguments that Trump's aggressive deregulatory push will hurt the planet, arguing that the administration is "reducing unnecessary burdens" while being mindful of the environment.

  • It also appears to respond to the March for Science without mentioning it directly. "Rigorous science is critical to my Administration's efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection," it states.

Quick take: The statement has language that's consistent with the administration's skepticism of the scientific consensus on human-induced global warming. "[R]igorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate," it states, using the type of phrasing that's common in climate-skeptic circles.

Go deeper

21 mins ago - World

Iran's nuclear dilemma: Ramp up now or wait for Biden

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The world is waiting to see whether Iran will strike back at Israel or the U.S. over the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran's military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Senior Iranian officials have stressed that Iran will take revenge against the perpetrators, but also respond by continuing Fakhrizadeh’s legacy — the nuclear program. The key question is whether Iran will accelerate that work now, or wait to see what President-elect Biden puts on the table.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

U.K. first nation to clear Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for mass rollout

A health care worker during the phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial by Pfizer and BioNTech in Ankara, Turkey, in October. Photo: Dogukan Keskinkilic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's government announced Wednesday it's approved Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, which "will be made available across the U.K. from next week."

Why it matters: The U.K. has beaten the U.S. to become the first Western country to give emergency approval for a vaccine that's found to be 95% effective with no serious side effects against a virus that's killed nearly 1.5 million people globally.

3 hours ago - World

Biden says he won't immediately remove U.S. tariffs on China

President-elect Joe Biden during an event in Wilmington, Delaware, on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's 25% tariffs imposed on China under the phase one trade deal will remain in place at the start of the new administration, President-elect Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published early Wednesday.

Details: "I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," Biden said. He plans to conduct a full review of the current U.S. policy on China and speak with key allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy," he said.

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