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Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency officially proposed a rule Tuesday setting limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, which replaces a far more aggressive plan issued by former President Barack Obama.

Why it matters: It’s a tacit acknowledgment by the Trump administration that it’s legally required to regulate carbon emissions — even though most officials don’t acknowledge climate change is a problem.

Reality check: Trump officials will tout how this rule will stop what they call Obama’s war on coal, but independent analysts say coal’s decline will continue, and is fueled largely by cheaper natural gas and renewables anyway.

The details: The rule, called the Affordable Clean Energy rule, calls for reduction of CO2 emissions within a plant’s fence line only, instead of across a company’s fleet, which is what Obama’s rule did. Trump’s rule also gives significant flexibility to states.

Flashback: Obama’s rule was the cornerstone of his administration’s commitment to the Paris climate deal, from which Trump has vowed to withdraw the United States. Obama’s rule never went into effect, though. The Supreme Court took the unusual step of temporarily blocking it in early 2016, as it faced legal challenges from more than two dozen states.

  • That’s a sign of how difficult it is to address climate change through regulations, instead of legislation.

What’s next: The proposal will go through a public notice and comment period before going final. Expect lawsuits from left-leaning states and environmental groups to ensue as soon at that time.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe, effective in children, company says

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine is safe and effective in children ages 5 to 11, albeit at a lower dose than adults receive, the companies said in a press release announcing results from a pediatric trial.

Why it matters: The trial results are a much-needed source of hope for families with elementary school-aged children, who currently aren't eligible for a vaccine.

The pandemic made our workweeks longer

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The average American's workweek has gotten 10% longer during the pandemic, according to a new Microsoft study published in Nature Human Behaviour.

Why it matters: These longer hours are a key part of the pandemic-induced crisis of burnout at U.S. firms — and workers are quitting in droves.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky to herald "travel revolution"

Expand chart
Data: TSA. Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky will argue this week that the world is undergoing a "travel revolution," in which some parts of the industry stay shrunk but the sector ultimately comes back "bigger than ever."

Why it matters: Chesky, who faced the abyss when the world shut down last year, foresees a significant shift in how people move around, with more intentional gatherings of family, friends and colleagues — even if routine business travel is never what it once was.