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The Environmental Protection Agency is gearing up to significantly tighten air-pollution regulations for the first time under President Trump.

Driving the news: E&E News, citing three sources, is reporting that the agency will announce tighter tailpipe standards for big trucks on Tuesday. An EPA spokesman didn’t respond to E&E News' request for comment.

One level deeper: Tuesday’s announcement is expected to preview an update to rules that set the standards for nitrogen oxides, a pollutant that contributes to smog and poor air quality, E&E News reports. More details:

  • State and local air agencies petitioned the EPA to tighten these standards for big trucks, including semis, in 2016.
  • These standards haven’t been updated since 2001.

The big picture: The primary focus of the EPA under Trump has been to unravel a series of significant regulations put in place by then-President Barack Obama. In most cases, the agency is either working to repeal those rules or replace them with far less stringent versions. This rule is likely to be the exception, not the new norm.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 min ago - Economy & Business

Tesla's wild rise and European plan

Tesla's market capitalization blew past $500 billion for the first time Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's just a number, but kind of a wild one. Consider, via CNN: "Tesla is now worth more than the combined market value of most of the world's major automakers: Toyota, Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and its merger partner PSA Group."

Dave Lawler, author of World
43 mins ago - World

China's Xi Jinping congratulates Biden on election win

Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to President-elect Biden on Wednesday to congratulate him on his election victory, according to the Xinhua state news agency.

Why it matters: China's foreign ministry offered Biden a belated, and tentative, congratulations on Nov. 13, but Xi had not personally acknowledged Biden's win. The leaders of Brazil, Mexico and Russia are among the very few leaders still declining to congratulate Biden.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
2 hours ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

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