Jun 15, 2017

Energy dept. closes office promoting climate efforts abroad

Ng Han Guan / AP

The Energy Department has decided to close an office that works with foreign countries to promote clean energy technology and reduce greenhouse emissions, marking the latest effort by the Trump administration to scale back U.S. climate policy, per NYT.

The Office of International Climate and Technology's 11 agency employees said they were informed their positions were being eliminated right before Energy Secretary Rick Perry took part in the latest Clean Energy Ministerial annual forum in Beijing on June 6, where the U.S., China, India and other countries discussed solutions to climate change.

Why it matters: The closing comes just weeks after Trump announced the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, and follows a series of other moves to unravel climate regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Dept of Energy statement:

"Anticipating a smaller FY 2018 budget, the Department is looking for ways to consolidate the many duplicative programs that currently exist within DOE. This is only one example of many. For instance, The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has an International Affairs team, while the International Affairs Office has a renewables team. The Department is looking for ways to eliminate this kind of unnecessary duplication--just like any responsible American business would.

"The premise of the New York Times article claiming that the Administration is retreating on its efforts to promote clean energy is entirely false. The article failed to mention that Secretary Perry successfully introduced two new initiatives on clean energy at the CEM on CCUS and Nuclear Energy. He has a proven record of managing under tight budgets and looks forward to working with whatever resources Congress appropriates to accomplish the core agency functions while being respectful to the American taxpayer."

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,502,618 — Total deaths: 89,915 — Total recoveries: 339,775Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 432,554 — Total deaths: 14,829 — Total recoveries: 24,213Map.
  3. Business: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion. — Another 6.6 million jobless claims were filed last week
  4. Federal government latest: Congress' $250 billion PPP injection could come too late for some businesses.
  5. Public health latest: Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the death toll to 60,000.
  6. Poll: 1 in 10 Americans believe the economy will never return to normal.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion amid coronavirus crisis

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at a press conference in March. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Thursday that it will support the coronavirus-hit economy with up to $2.3 trillion in loans to businesses, state and city governments — made possible in part by Treasury funds set aside in the government stimulus package.

Why it matters: The Fed has taken more action amid the coronavirus outbreak than it has in any other financial crisis in U.S. history in an effort to blunt the effects of the resulting economic shutdown.

DetailsArrowUpdated 17 mins ago - Economy & Business

Senate Democrats block Republicans' $250 billion PPP injection

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Before the Paycheck Protection Program formally launched last Friday, we knew two things: The rollout would be rocky, and the initial $250 billion wouldn't be enough for America's small businesses.

The state of play: Banks and government officials have been working to smooth out the process. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempt to pump another $250 billion into the program via unanimous consent was blocked by Democrats, who are proposing an alternative that includes billions more for hospitals and states.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 18 mins ago - Economy & Business