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President Trump on Dec. 24. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump administration so far targeted about 85 environmental regulations that protect air, water, land and public health from climate change and fossil fuel pollution, according to CNBC.

Why it matters: Eliminating these regulations can increase premature deaths from pollutants and produce higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions, according to research from the NYU Law School.

  • The Trump administration has prioritized eliminating regulations that it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and the economy in general.
Here are five major rollbacks in 2019:

Methane leaks: The Trump administration announced plans to weaken regulations on methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

  • If adopted, oil and gas companies would not be required to adopt technology to monitor and fix methane leaks from facilities and pipelines.

Clean water rule: The EPA repealed an Obama-era regulation that limited the amount of pollution and chemicals in the country’s rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands.

  • The repeal allows people and businesses to discharge toxic substances into waterways without a permit, potentially harming the country’s sources of drinking water and habitats for wildlife.

Endangered Species Act: The Trump administration said it would alter the Endangered Species Act and make it harder to protect wildlife from human development and global warming.

  • The new rules make it easier for federal agencies to delist threatened animals and plants. The Endangered Species Act contributed to saving the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator.

Coal plants: The administration introduced the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which keeps coal-powered plants open longer. It gives states more power to control emissions and less authority to the federal government in setting emissions standards.

Auto pollution: The White House also prepared to soften regulations on automobile emissions that contribute to global warming.

  • The administration said cutting the regulations is necessary for economic and safety reasons, and environmentalists say consumers would spend billions more in fuel costs and accelerate climate change if the administration removes the regulations.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

COVID cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to plummet all across the U.S.

By the numbers: The U.S. is now averaging roughly 70,000 new cases per day, a 20% drop over the past two weeks.

2 hours ago - World

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.