Jan 5, 2019

A rare political moment for climate

Amy Harder, author of Generate

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After taking a backseat on Washington’s priority list for most of the past decade, climate and energy policy are set to be in the limelight with the start of the new Congress.

Between the lines: It's probable that energy and climate issues will further divide the parties, at least for now. If so, that would be driven in part by Trump’s refusal to acknowledge climate change as a problem and also by Democrats moving further to the left.

Driving the news:

  • Democrats have created a special committee to focus on climate change, which could likely include consideration of a progressive “Green New Deal” policy championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
  • A bipartisan carbon tax bill from late last year is likely to be re-introduced.
  • President Trump has cited infrastructure as potential common ground, prompting Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer to call for climate to be included.
  • Watch for business lobby groups, chiefly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to ramp up pressure to raise the gasoline tax as a way to pay for infrastructure improvements.

Go deeper: Democrats' left turn on climate change

Go deeper

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Murkowski calls Mattis' Trump criticism "true and honest and necessary and overdue"

Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Thursday that she agreed with former Defense Secretary James Mattis' criticism of President Trump, calling it "true and honest and necessary and overdue."

Why it matters: Murkowski, who has signaled her discomfort with the president in the past, also said that she's "struggling" with her support for him in November — a rare full-on rebuke of Trump from a Senate Republican.

Facebook to block ads from state-controlled media entities in the U.S.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook said Thursday it will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer. It's also rolling out a new set of labels to provide users with transparency around ads and posts from state-controlled outlets. Outlets that feel wrongly labeled can appeal the process.

Why it matters: Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of security policy, says the company hasn't seen many examples yet of foreign governments using advertising to promote manipulative content to U.S. users, but that the platform is taking this action out of an abundance of caution ahead of the 2020 election.