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Sen. Amy Klobuchar announces her 2020 run. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) jumped into the White House race yesterday, and her speech's climate lines are worth breaking down:

"The people are on our side when it comes to climate change. Why? Because like you and I, they believe in science. That's why in the first 100 days of my administration, I will reinstate the clean power rules and the gas mileage standards and put forth sweeping legislation to invest in green jobs and infrastructure. And on day one, we will rejoin the international climate agreement."

Quick take: Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it can be viewed as a mix of ambition and an implicit nod to the daunting legislative hurdles in front of moving a big bill.

  • Reinstating former President Obama's Clean Power Plan is hardly the most ambitious goal in the world — that rule would have largely provided a regulatory backstop for trends already apparent in the power sector.
  • Reinstating the auto mileage rules would be a return to what was already on the books before Trump-era rollbacks began. Ditto for recommitting to the Paris agreement, which President Trump plans to abandon.

But, but, but: Klobuchar is among the Senate sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution, so there's one template for the "sweeping legislation" she mentions.

  • But it's extraordinarily unlikely that Democrats will have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate even if they retake the chamber in 2020, so big legislation is a long shot.

The big picture: Climate change is playing an improbably large role in the early 2020 jockeying. The latest example came yesterday evening, when Trump inaccurately suggested (again) that cold weather somehow disproves climate change.

  • Trump mocked Klobuchar on Twitter for "talking proudly of fighting global warming while standing in a virtual blizzard of snow, ice and freezing temperatures."
  • "Science is on my side, @realDonaldTrump. Looking forward to debating you about climate change (and many other issues)," Klobuchar responded, also on Twitter.

Go deeper: The Green New Deal is getting a boost from 2020 hopefuls

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 6 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker