Oct 29, 2018

Shell to EPA: Be faithful to Paris climate deal

Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell is jumping into the high-stakes fight over auto regulations.

What they're saying: According to some newly available comments filed with regulators, the oil giant says U.S. policy should be "consistent with the aim of the Paris Agreement." Shell "does not support" the administration's proposal to weaken federal mileage and carbon emissions rules by freezing them in 2020 rather than letting them become increasingly stringent.

  • Shell's comments push back against the EPA plan to revoke California's power to impose emissions standards that are tougher than the federal rules, calling it a "step in the wrong direction."
  • California has a special authority under the Clean Air Act to set separate tailpipe standards that roughly a dozen other states also follow.

Where it stands: California is fighting to keep its power to maintain tougher rules even if the federal standards are rolled back. But automakers fear that would create a messy patchwork and want California and the EPA to strike a deal that preserves a single nationwide set of rules.

The intrigue: The oil giant's views signal how the Trump administration's dismantling of Obama-era climate rules puts the White House to the right of even some big fossil fuel companies.

  • However, Shell's climate message is absent from more detailed comments filed by the American Petroleum Institute, the powerful oil-and-gas lobbying group.

The big picture: The fight over Obama-era auto rules — a pillar of the former president's climate policy — is pretty messy.

  • While big automakers say they don't support freezing the standards in place, they have lobbied for some kind of relaxation of the Obama mandates, calling them too stringent.
  • Shell, for its part, doesn't weigh in what the standards should be, but instead simply agrees with the auto lobby that they should not be frozen.

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

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There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy