President Trump on Earth Day: ‘Rigorous science is critical to my administration’

President Trump on Earth Day: ‘Rigorous science is critical to my administration’

Earth Day

President Donald Trump declared his support for the environment and scientific research on his first Earth Day as President of the United States.

“Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection,” President Trump said in a statement Saturday as thousands of marchers filled the streets of downtown Washington to support science and evidence-based research  a protest partly fueled by opposition to President Trump’s budget cuts to the EPA and agencies funding wasteful projects.

“My administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understanding of our environment and of environmental risks,” President Trump said. “As we do so, we should remember that rigorous science depends not on ideology, but on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate.

“This April 22nd, as we observe Earth Day, I hope that our nation can come together to give thanks for the land we all love and call home,” he added.

In a tweet later Saturday, however, President Trump stated that while he is “committed” to environmental protection, people shouldn’t forget that “jobs matter.”

“Always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection,” he said on his official Twitter account.

The Trump administration released a $1.1 trillion budget outline last month that makes good on a number of campaign promises. While the budget blueprint would increase defense spending by $54 billion in 2018, it would make corresponding cuts to the State Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, which would lose about a third of its funding, and eliminate other wasteful federal programs.

When asked at the White House’s roll-out of the spending proposal about the cuts to climate change-related programs, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said those programs are “a waste of your money.”

“I think the President was fairly straightforward,” he said. “We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that. So that is a specific tie to his campaign.”

But President Trump dismissed any idea Saturday that his administration will not promote policies in the best interest of the environment months after making comments that some considered dismissive of climate change.

“My administration is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species,”