Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

ExxonMobil is reasserting its self-imposed commitment to cut emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s the primary component of natural gas, as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares to repeal regulations.

Why it matters: The comments, posted Tuesday by the CEO of XTO Energy, an Exxon subsidiary with large U.S. natural-gas operations, illustrate an awkward predicament facing industry under President Trump. Some of the biggest global companies are seeking to emphasize a social license to produce fossil fuels even as the Trump administration pursues aggressive regulatory rollbacks.

"Our view on methane regulation remains: We think there should be a cost-effective federal regulatory standard to manage methane emissions for both new and existing source oil and gas facilities."
— Sara Ortwein, president, XTO Energy

What’s next: The EPA is gearing up to soon issue a smaller, technical rule that environmentalists say will weaken the Obama-era regulations, as we reported a few weeks ago. A few months later, the agency plans to propose a broader draft rule that likely contains a preference for wholly rolling back direct rules on methane — instead relying on a separate air-pollution rule issued in 2012 that indirectly cuts methane emissions as it targets other air pollutants.

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Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected an attempt by conservatives to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm on Wednesday, bringing with it "life-threatening storm surge and strong winds," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.