Updated Feb 12, 2018

Trump seeks slightly less drastic cuts to EPA

Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is proposing a 9% increase in the Environmental Protection Agency's budget from last year’s request, but it’s still a nearly 25% cut from enacted levels.

Why it matters: It's pretty unlikely that Congress will adopt this plan, but it still matters for symbolic reasons — it shows the priorities of the White House. Under Trump, the EPA has seen extreme changes in leadership and focus. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has wiped climate change from the agency’s agenda, and moved to roll back a host of regulations on everything from carbon emissions to broader air pollution.

The top-line numbers: EPA’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 is $6.146 billion, compared to its roughly current $8 billion budget and a high of $10 billion under former President Obama in 2010, who prioritized aggressive environmental regulations to address climate change and other related issues. Trump proposed $5.7 billion in his first budget proposal laid out last year.

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The oil stakes of Trump vs. Biden

Reproduced from Rapidan Energy Group; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. oil production is in a steep decline, but one question is how much November's elections will affect how much it does — or doesn't — bounce back.

Why it matters: The powerful price and demand headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic are creating a financial crisis in the oil patch.

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From last night's episode:

A closer look at how colleges can reopen

The campus of Brown University. Photo: Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Masks in class, sports on hold, dorm life without roommates and summer 2021 classes for some: Brown University President Christina Paxson tells "Axios on HBO" it's all in play as colleges consider whether and how to safely reopen campuses in the fall.

Why it matters: An extended shutdown of U.S. colleges and universities would leave nearly 20 million students and 3 million employees with an uncertain future, but premature reopenings without proper coronavirus safeguards could jeopardize lives and force more closings.