Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The American Petroleum Institute is now supporting the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement and, separately, technology for capturing carbon dioxide.

Why it matters: These are subtle but important shifts reflecting the oil and natural gas industry’s reluctant and uneven embrace of climate change as a problem the government should address.

Driving the news:

  • On the Paris deal, spokesperson Ben Marter said, "API supports the ambitions of the 2015 agreement, including global action that reduces emissions and alleviates poverty around the world.”
  • When asked whether API supports the deal’s primary ambition to limit Earth's temperature rise to well below 2°C within this century, Marter said by phone: "Even though the technology does not yet exist to get us there, our companies are investing billions to get us there."
  • On carbon capture, Marter said API is lobbying for legislation pending in Congress that would encourage more of the tech.

The intrigue: Given that API is the largest and most diverse oil group, its public policies must encompass the views of its most progressive members, led by European producers, and its least progressive, such as many smaller, domestic producers and refiners.

Between the lines: The trade group is walking some fine lines here, including…

  • It doesn’t say that it supports the Paris deal itself, but the ambitions of it. That’s a subtle distinction made likely to distance itself from the extreme reductions in fossil-fuel emissions the deal implicitly calls for.
  • Current API CEO and president Mike Sommers hasn’t commented much (if at all) on the Paris deal publicly. His predecessor, Jack Gerard, made general statements about the need to address climate change when asked about the Paris deal.
  • API did not take a position on the expanded tax credit law for carbon capture when Congress was debating it a couple years ago and ultimately passed it early last year.`

One level deeper: When it comes to a carbon price, an API official says it only comments on specific legislation.

  • The group is reviewing a measure introduced by Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), that would tax CO2 and return the money to citizens, according to that official.
  • That contrasts with the Natural Gas Supply Association, which publicly backed a generic carbon price last week. NGSA is far smaller and represents only producers of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel that would be poised to gain on such a policy priced at low to medium levels.
  • A carbon price is considered a key policy component to cutting emissions that’s nonetheless politically toxic with nearly all Republicans (and some Democrats).

What I’m watching: How Sommers handles this topic and questions about it at the group’s annual luncheon early next month.

Go deeper: Industry lobbying rifts over climate change growing

Go deeper

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.