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Reproduced from Rhodium Climate Service; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Trump administration's scuttling or weakening of key Obama-era climate policies could together add 1.8 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent to the atmosphere by 2035, a Rhodium Group analysis concludes.

Why it matters: The 1.8 gigatons is "more than the combined energy emissions of Germany, Britain and Canada in one year," per the New York Times, which first reported on the study.

  • "This cumulative impact is equivalent to nearly one-third of all U.S. emissions in 2019," Rhodium notes.
  • They still see U.S. emissions being lower in 2035 than today, but it's a smaller reduction that would have occurred absent the rollbacks.
  • The research is an effort to look more holistically at a several separate policy moves and their effect on the country's long-term emissions.

Threat level: "[T]he rollbacks we consider here are far from exhaustive. The current administration has reversed many more Obama-era rules with climate implications that are difficult to assess," the analysis states.

How it works: Rhodium looked at several different policies, as the chart above shows. They include

  • The decision to weaken Obama-era vehicle mileage and CO2 standards through the mid-2020s.
  • Stripping California's power to impose tailpipe CO2 rules that a number of other states follow.
  • Easing regulation of the potent planet-warming gas methane from oil-and-gas development.

What we're watching: The election and the courts. Joe Biden has pledged to reverse President Trump's moves and impose even stronger emissions standards and policies than the Obama administration.

  • Also, a number of states and activist groups are challenging key Trump administration regulatory changes in court.

Go deeper: Trump's climate change rollbacks to drive up U.S. emissions (Politico)

Go deeper

Sep 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Gasoline-powered cars may be going the way of the woolly mammoth, even if it will take decades to replace them and seems hard to fathom today.

The big picture: Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have powered automobiles for more than 100 years. But the shift to electric vehicles, slow to materialize at first, is now accelerating due to tightening government policies, falling costs and a societal reckoning about climate change.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 2, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Why going electric makes sense for ride-hailing

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Deploying electric vehicles instead of gasoline-powered models for services like Uber and Lyft provides outsized climate benefits compared to emissions cuts from electric vehicles for only personal use, per a peer-reviewed study in Nature Energy.

Why it matters: The analysis, based on California data, follows explosive growth in ride-hailing in recent years — and evidence that it's cannibalizing more climate-friendly mass transit.

Laurel Hubbard to become 1st openly trans athlete to compete at Olympics

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, when she became the first openly transgender athlete to represent NZ. Photo: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

The New Zealand Olympic Committee has announced that Laurel Hubbard has been selected for the women's weightlifting team for the Tokyo Games — making her the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the event.

The big picture: Hubbard, 43, is part of a five-member Kiwi weightlifting team and will compete in the women's super heavyweight category. Meanwhile, BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe will become the first openly trans athlete to travel to the Olympics with Team USA, when she arrives in Tokyo as a reserve rider.