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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A year-old coalition of large oil and power companies working on carbon capture and storage is now under the umbrella of the National Association of Manufacturers, a powerful lobbying association, Axios has learned from lobbying disclosures and interviews.

Why it matters: The affiliation of the Energy Advance Center (EAC) — which includes Exxon, Chevron, Southern Company and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America — with NAM arrives at an important time.

  • Companies are seeking to benefit from expanded tax credits enacted last year for direct carbon sequestration or use of captured CO2 in enhanced oil recovery.
  • More broadly, advocates of the technology — including the International Energy Agency — are calling for more rapid deployment to help cut emissions in a global energy mix still dominated by fossil fuels.

Background: EAC brought on Christopher Romans as its executive director earlier this year. He was a top government affairs official at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America.

  • The other members of the coalition are ConocoPhillips, BP and Denbury Resources, lobbying records show.

What they're saying: Sources involved in the newly revealed affiliation said implementation of the expanded tax credits is one focus area, but that the group's lobbying work on carbon capture is much broader in scope.

  • One source said the relationship will offer the EAC a wider reach due to NAM's resources and membership.

The intrigue: NAM has battled against various Obama-era emissions regulations such as the Clean Power Plan.

  • But bringing the Energy Advance Center under its roof is part of a wider effort to advance the climate measures it supports, a NAM official tells Axios.
  • “We have been moving a bit more aggressively in the direction of finding climate solutions for the last couple of years,” the official said.
  • Elsewhere, the group has been pushing for ratification of an amendment to the Montreal Protocol aimed at phasing greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons.

Flashback: While EAC's detailed policy goals are not clear, Axios' Amy Harder reported last year that it backs allowing companies to receive the tax credit without submitting a monitoring plan to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Go deeper:

Editor's note: This story was corrected to refer to an amendment to the Montreal Protocol (not the Kyoto Protocol).

Go deeper

New Zealand aims to create smoke-free generation with tobacco ban

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a December news conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand officials announced Thursday legislative plans to outlaw smoking by making it illegal to sell or supply tobacco products to the next generation as part of a lifetime ban.

Why it matters: "People aged 14 when the law comes into effect will never be able to legally purchase tobacco," Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said in a statement announcing the proposed law, part of the Smokefree 2025 Action Plan.

FDA approves AstraZeneca COVID drug for people with immune problems

Photo: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for an AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody drug for people with compromised immune systems.

Why it matters: The drug, Evusheld, is the first antibody therapy authorized in the U.S. to prevent coronavirus symptoms before virus exposure.

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.