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President Trump Defends Environmental Record on Earth Day

president donald trumppresident donald trump
Olivier Douliery—Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Donald Trump defended his administration’s policies on the environment and scientific research on Earth Day as thousands of protesters gathered around the country for the March on Science.

In an official statement on Saturday, Trump said his administration “is committed to keeping our air and water clean, to preserving our forests, lakes, and open spaces, and to protecting endangered species.”

He also said science depends “on a spirit of honest inquiry and robust debate,” not “on ideology.”

“Rigorous science is critical to my Administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection,” Trump said. “My Administration is committed to advancing scientific research that leads to a better understand of our environment and environmental risks.”

Scientists rallied around the world on Earth Day in part to protest the Trump Administration’s policies on science and climate. Trump’s budget proposal includes cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and federal research.

Trump’s EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has also been criticized for his controversial views on climate change and global warming.

At the headlining event for the worldwide protest in Washington D.C., speakers criticized the new presidential administration, and protesters held signs targeting the president.

“Many people seem to be forgetting those facts and it’s been frustrating to watch as certain forces in our society try to squelch science or their refusal to believe in it or propose alternative realities and facts,” said musician Questlove, a co-host for the march in Washington, D.C.

Despite proposing more than $1.5 billion in cuts to the Department of Interior, Trump donated his salary from his first quarter in the Oval Office to the National Park Service. The money — $78,333.32 — will help fund battlefield preservation efforts.

Trump’s statement did not mention the protesters, but asked all Americans to “come together to thanks for the land we all love and call home.”