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Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pennsylvania, the big swing state that President Trump narrowly won in 2016, is now the second-largest natural gas producer behind Texas.

Why it matters: Trump and Vice President Pence are frequently accusing former vice president Joe Biden and running mate Sen. Kamala Harris of wanting to ban fracking — costing jobs in the process.

Reality check: Biden wants new restrictions and regulations on fossil fuel development, but isn't calling for a fracking ban, something he and Harris have been emphasizing. However, Biden's confusing statements in the primaries and Harris' prior endorsement of a ban have helped fuel the attacks.

The intrigue: Polling shows that Pennsylvanians are split on the topic, so it's hardly clear if Trump's strategy in the state — where he trails in recent polls — will bear fruit.

By the numbers: Via this in-depth CNN piece on the tussle...

  • "As of June 2019, shale operators, pipeline companies and service companies together employed nearly 32,000 people in Pennsylvania, according to a New York Times analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 13, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Why fuel efficiency gains are slow: Consumers want big vehicles

Reproduced from: Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Pricing is one reason why wringing carbon emissions out of transportation is hard: Automakers have incentives to sell lots of big vehicles that don't get very good mileage. And they're what consumers want.

The big picture: The average price for new light trucks, a category that includes pickups and SUVs, was 43% higher in 2019 than the average for cars, per this new Energy Department analysis of Commerce data.

53 mins ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: It means former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

2 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.