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Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday a long-expected decision to begin scaling back mileage and carbon emissions rules for cars and light trucks.

Why it matters: The regulations were a pillar of President Obama's climate change agenda. The move may also set up a major battle with California, which currently has authority to maintain tougher mileage rules, and roughly a dozen states that follow California's lead.

Details: The Obama-era rules for model years 2022-2025 would have required a fleet-wide average of over 50 miles per gallon (though it comes out to roughly 36 mpg under real-world conditions).

What they're doing: EPA, in announcing the move, said Administrator Scott Pruitt had determined that "in light of recent data, the current standards are not appropriate and should be revised."

  • The Obama administration "made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high," Pruitt said in a statement.
  • What's next: The EPA and the Transportation Department, which jointly set federal rules, will begin a rule-making process to set "more appropriate" standards, the EPA said. California's waiver to set tougher standards under the Clean Air Act is also being "reexamined."

What they're saying: The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade and lobbying group that represents GM, Ford and several other car companies, applauded the move.

  • "We appreciate that the Administration is working to find a way to both increase fuel economy standards and keep new vehicles affordable to more Americans," said spokeswoman. Gloria Bergquist.
  • But environmentalists attacked the decision: “We should be racing toward a cleaner, healthier transportation future. Instead, the Trump administration is steering us onto a dead end road," said Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp.

Go deeper: Bloomberg breaks down the announcement here.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.

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