Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

This year will bring the gritty details of President Trump's deregulatory efforts and trade battles, as I wrote about in my latest Harder Line column yesterday outlining eight energy and climate issues I'm watching this year. But that's not all. In response to reader feedback (thanks to all!), here's an honorable mentions list of even more issues to watch.

Fossil-fuel machinations on Wall Street

A record number of investors in 2017 pressured fossil-fuel companies to reveal how climate change could hit their bottom lines. Expect this trend to accelerate even more this year, with shareholder votes on more climate change-related resolutions expected this spring and some companies taking steps proactively (like Pioneer Natural Resources issuing a climate analysis).

On a related note, environmentalists and fossil-fuel executives alike are watching to see whether the pressure to divest from fossil-fuel companies picks up steam. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, is urging his state's retirement pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, though the manager of that fund has said it's best to stay in and wield power by things like shareholder votes.

State moves

With Washington nowhere near a cohesive energy and climate policy, look to the states for action. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has said he is going to push a tax on carbon emissions, a move that comes after voters there in 2016 voted against a state ballot measure that would have created such a tax.

Environmentalists are also hopeful for aggressive action addressing climate change with the new Democratic governors of New Jersey and Virginia (Phil Murphy and Ralph Northam).

Oily geopolitical risks

As a key subset of No. 7 on my original list (oil prices hovering upward), geopolitical unrest could produce volatile — and higher — oil prices.

The protests in Iran — one of the biggest producers in the Mideast oil cartel OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries — are underscoring this uncertainty, as UPI noted in a piece Tuesday. President Trump faces a Jan. 12 statutory deadline to decide whether to waive U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports. Energy analyst Joe McMonigle predicts the Iranian protests increase the likelihood Trump won't issue another waiver.


Energy, climate change and environmental issues have rarely been top-tier issues to Americans, let alone when they head for the polls. The 2018 midterms will test this trend, because the Trump administration has pushed the limits by rolling back environmental regulations, questioning mainstream climate-change science and touting fossil-fuel production.

Go deeper

Trump's new TikTok threat

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump said twice Monday that the U.S. Treasury would need to get a portion of the sale price of TikTok, as a condition of regulatory approval.

Why it matters: This is akin to extortion — the sort of thing you'd expect to hear on a wiretap, not from the White House in front of reporters.

Ford names James Farley as new CEO amid ongoing turnaround effort

James Hackett, left, is retiring as Ford CEO. Jim Farley, right, takes over Oct. 1. Photo: Ford

Ford announced Tuesday that James Farley will take over as its next CEO, replacing James Hackett, 65, who is retiring after three years in the job.

Why it matters: It leaves Farley to complete the company's ongoing turnaround effort. The transition will be that much harder as the industry tries to navigate the coronavirus-induced economic slowdown which shuttered Ford plants for two months on the eve of some of its most important vehicle launches.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Watch the full "Axios on HBO" interview with President Trump

In this episode of “Axios on HBO”, President Trump discusses his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming election and much more with National Political Correspondent Jonathan Swan.

The interview was filmed on Tuesday, July 28 and aired Monday, Aug. 3 on HBO.