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Photo: Ali Al-Saadi / AFP via Getty Images

Some of the most powerful figures in global energy markets sent a clear signal in Houston early this week: The world will and should move to a lower-carbon future — but on their terms.

What they're saying: OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo, in repeated appearances, has warned against overemphasis on specific energy sources. He instead called for focus on technology that reduces emissions from heavy use of fossil fuels (his members' products) that he says will dominate energy markets for decades to come.

  • BP CEO Bob Dudley, in a major speech in Houston, called for governments to put a price on carbon, and also said that "we need to be agnostic about fuels and focused on a race to lower emissions."
  • “We have never denied the science. We want to debate the policy,” ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said onstage.
  • Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser offered an extended warning Tuesday against what he called unrealistic expectations about the penetration of alternative energy and electric vehicles (more on that below).

The big picture: Taken together, the speeches at the big CERAWeek conference thus far — and the scarcity of environmental voices onstage — have provided a window into how the oil industry believes energy transition should unfold:

  • Essentially, that's with a slow transition to cleaner technologies over time. But the conference has not featured voices that say far more aggressive policies are needed to avoid the most dangerous levels of warming.
  • A number of the biggest companies, including BP and Shell, have been expanding their investments in areas like renewables and EV charging. But it's still a very small portion of their spending.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”