California traffic. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce on Wednesday that it will end an Obama administration rule that allowed California to establish strict auto pollution standards on new cars and light trucks, per anonymous sources familiar with the issue, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: This move is likely to spark a legal battle between the state and the Trump administration. The administration is currently working to settle federal fuel economy and emissions regulations for model year 2021 cars and beyond.

What they're saying: The EPA did not immediately provide comment to Axios, but administrator Andrew Wheeler delivered prepared remarks Tuesday at the National Automobile Dealers Association, in which he warned that the agency would take joint action with the Department of Transportation "to bring clarity to the proper — and improper — scope and use of the Clean Air Act preemption waiver."

  • California has promised to fight any attempt to revoke its waiver. The state argues that the law does not allow the EPA to withdraw waivers after they are issued, Politico reports.

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Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022
  2. Politics: Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  4. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.
Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Many of the states where coronavirus cases have recently skyrocketed are also seeing the highest death rates in the nation, a painful reminder that wherever the virus goes, death eventually follows.

Between the lines: Deaths usually lag behind cases by a few weeks. Given America's record-high case counts, it's reasonable to expect that death rates across the country will continue to rise in tandem.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Science

Pandemic scrambles Americans' acceptance of science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans' understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.

Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.