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

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,724,799 — Total deaths: 751,399— Total recoveries: 12,873,188Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,234,800 — Total deaths: 166,750 — Total recoveries: 1,755,225 — Total tests: 63,731,305Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

45 mins ago - Technology

Epic sues Apple over developer tax as Fortnite is pulled from App Store

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday escalated its battle over Apple's App Store tactics, suing the tech giant over antitrust claims while also baiting Apple into dropping Fortnite from the App Store.

The big picture: Epic is just one of several developers clashing with Apple. They argue the company harms competition by taking a cut of up to 30% on in-app purchases and subscriptions and blocking most developers from getting around the tax by charging their users directly.