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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Federal fuel efficiency standards issued under President Obama are frozen under a proposal the Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency issued today.

Why it matters: These rules, which under Obama would have reached an average of 50 miles per gallon by 2025, were a big part of the former president's climate legacy, cutting carbon emissions and fuel use. The Trump administration is now asserting that the scaled back proposal will save both lives and money.

The details: The proposal includes a range of options, but the administration’s preferred one is the most aggressive: Freezing the standards at 35 miles per gallon in 2020 for six years, instead of rising to 50 mpg. It would also revoke a federal waiver California has to issue tougher standards, which a dozen states also follow. The rollback goes further than what most automakers have said they want.

"More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner."
— Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler

The big picture: Early in Trump’s administration, business urged him to slow down on deregulating, stressing that narrow regulation is better than none in a changing political climate. Today’s announcement is one of the starkest signs that Trump is throwing that advice out the window — and inviting lawsuits and regulatory uncertainty.

What's next: The proposal goes through a public notice-and-comment period. The final version could be more moderate than the proposal.

Go deeper: Trump's stealth attack on Obama's legacy.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Aug 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Joe Biden unlikely to push carbon tax as part of climate change plan

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Joe Biden is unlikely to pursue a carbon tax if he wins in November, according to several people familiar with his campaign's thinking.

Driving the news: The campaign said last year it supported a price on carbon emissions, but it has since released policies that embody government mandates, investments and job creation amid the pandemic-induced recession.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.