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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's speech to Congress Wednesday night highlighted two big themes of his energy and climate pitch and produced a head-scratching moment.

The big picture: That would be jobs and competing with China, which is what Biden focused on.

  • "For me, when I think climate change, I think jobs," Biden said. He talked up construction jobs, building efficient homes and buildings, union electricians installing EV charging stations and more.
  • And then he said: "There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason."

Quick take, part 1: That Pittsburgh line inverts what President Trump said when announcing he'd yank the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement.

  • "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris," Trump said in 2017.

Quick take, part 2. "For too long we’ve failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis: Jobs. Jobs. Jobs," Biden said.

  • That's...an interesting take. Because for many years Democrats and environmentalists have made job creation in low-carbon industries a pillar of their case for more aggressive climate policies.

Go deeper

The post-pandemic economy has already arrived

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With the recession officially ending in April 2020, we're now 16 months into the recovery and the contours of the post-pandemic economy have taken shape.

Why it matters: While the coronavirus continues to infect roughly 100,000 new Americans every day, it's no longer driving the course of the economy.

Biden wants 500,000 EV charging stations. Here's where they should go

A public charging station at Union Station in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Fewer than 10% of Americans have easy access to an electric vehicle charging station, and those who do tend to be wealthy and white.

Why it matters: The Biden administration wants EVs to comprise 50% of all new car sales by 2030, an ambitious target that will likely require broader consumer incentives. But if electric vehicles are going to achieve mass market adoption, people also need to be able to find charging plugs.

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.