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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

13 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

16 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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