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A Michigan State University academic has put together data that makes the climate change case for shifting freight movement from heavy trucks and planes to rail.

Expand chart
Adapted from The Conversation; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: Transportation has overtaken power generation as the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Andreas Hoffrichter, writing in The Conversation, says the "quickest way" to cut those emissions is more travel and goods movement by rail.

By the numbers: The chart above shows rail's emissions edge. In 2016, rail accounted for 32% of U.S. freight movement but 6% of greenhouse gas emissions from moving goods around and has far lower energy usage.

Where it stands: Hoffrichter's piece makes the case for more passenger travel and freight movement by rail, but notes it will require government investment, especially on the passenger rail side.

  • He also sees several pathways for making railways less carbon-intensive via improvements to diesel engine technology, use of natural gas, more battery systems deployment on relatively short routes and more.

Go deeper: How to cut CO2 from heavy trucking

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

Big Tech's post-riot reckoning

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The Capitol insurrection means the anti-tech talk in Washington is more likely to lead to action, since it's ever clearer that the attack was planned, at least in part, on social media.

Why it matters: The big platforms may have hoped they'd move to D.C.'s back burner, with the Hill focused on the Biden agenda and the pandemic out of control. But now, there'll be no escaping harsh scrutiny.

27 mins ago - Technology

Why domestic terrorists are so hard to police online

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Domestic terrorism has proven to be more difficult for Big Tech companies to police online than foreign terrorism.

The big picture: That's largely because the politics are harder. There's more unity around the need to go after foreign extremists than domestic ones — and less danger of overreaching and provoking a backlash.