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Reproduced from EPA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Transportation Department and the EPA are scheduled to unveil final rules Tuesday that set vehicle mileage and carbon emissions requirements through model year 2026 — but the battle over these regulations is not over.

Why it matters: Transportation overtook electric power as the largest source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions a few years ago, but the new rules are slated to be far weaker than the Obama-era requirements they're replacing.

The big picture, via AP:

  • "The Trump administration says the looser mileage standards will allow consumers to keep buying the less fuel-efficient SUVs that U.S. drivers have favored for years."
  • "Opponents say it will kill several hundred more Americans a year through dirtier air, compared to the Obama standards."

The intrigue: Today's unveiling is just the end of one phase in the fight over vehicle standards, and there's lots of uncertainty ahead.

  • The rules will be the subject of a lengthy court battle as environmentalists and California officials push back.
  • If Joe Biden wins in November's presidential election, his administration would seek to impose tougher requirements.
  • The industry is split, with four automakers — Ford, VW, Honda and BMW — reaching a preliminary deal with California last year to meet tougher standards than the White House is contemplating.
Reproduced from EPA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Go deeper

18 mins ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

2 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.

Sidewalk robots get legal rights as "pedestrians"

"We’ve got about 1,000 of them running around out there," Ryan Tuohy of Starship tells Axios. Photo courtesy of Starship Technologies.

As small robots proliferate on sidewalks and city streets, so does legislation that grants them generous access rights and even classifies them, in the case of Pennsylvania, as "pedestrians."

Why it matters: Fears of a dystopian urban world where people dodge heavy, fast-moving droids are colliding with the aims of robot developers large and small — including Amazon and FedEx — to deploy delivery fleets.

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