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AP

The CEO of America's third-largest coal producer has penned a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to stay in the Paris climate deal.

"U.S. leadership could take the world into a new era of global economic prosperity that also addresses concerns about climate and emissions."—Colin Marshall, CEO of Cloud Peak Energy

Why it matters: It's the latest sign of broad corporate backing for the pact, which Trump said on the campaign trail he would withdraw from. Big oil companies, including ExxonMobil, have also called on the president to stay in the deal.

To be sure: Fossil-fuel companies, including Cloud Peak, don't want the new administration to stick with the same commitments as the last one. Marshall writes in his letter that he wants the U.S. "ensure that fossil energy remains a driver of global prosperity for the foreseeable future while addressing climate concerns."

Marshall says he backs a letter that GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who advised Trump during the campaign, is circulating to his congressional colleagues. That letter calls on the administration to remain in the Paris accord, but soften the U.S. emissions pledge, end payments to United Nations-backed green energy funds, and promote development of low-emissions coal technologies, among other things.

What's next: The administration has said it will make a decision about whether to stay in or withdraw from the Paris deal by late May, when a scheduled G-7 meeting is happening in Italy.

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
26 mins ago - Sports

College basketball is back

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new season of college basketball begins Wednesday, and the goal is clear: March Madness must be played.

Why it matters: On March 12, 2020, the lights went out on college basketball, depriving teams like Baylor (who won our tournament simulation), Dayton, San Diego State and Florida State of perhaps their best chance to win a national championship.

32 mins ago - World

Scoop: Israeli military prepares for possibility Trump will strike Iran

Defense Minister Benny Gantz attends a cabinet meeting. Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: The Israeli government instructed the IDF to undertake the preparations not because of any intelligence or assessment that Trump will order such a strike, but because senior Israeli officials anticipate “a very sensitive period” ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.

Wall Street bets it all on a vaccine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It's the time of year when Wall Street shops are rolling out predictions for where they see the stock market headed in the coming year. There's one common theme: Widespread distribution of a vaccine is the reason to be bullish.

Why it matters: Analysts say vaccines will help the economy heal, corporate profits rebound and stock market continue its upward trajectory.

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