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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told Axios in an exclusive interview that he will call for a plan aimed at counterbalancing the Green New Deal.

Driving the news: Moniz, who was the energy secretary from 2013 to 2017 under President Obama, is delivering a speech today at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in D.C. touting energy innovation.

  • In what he’s calling the "Green Real Deal," Moniz says building broad coalitions — including with big business — will be essential to drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the next 30 years.
"If one is not pragmatic and pushes programs that are tough but at least achievable and if we can’t pull together and recognize the needs of a broad coalition, we won’t get there."
— Ernest Moniz, to Axios

Why it matters: Moniz, who now runs the think tank Energy Futures Initiative, is respected by many environmentalists and business leaders alike, so what he says could influence people across the political spectrum.

The other side: Backers of the Green New Deal, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and numerous Democratic presidential candidates, blame big business for blocking action and are pushing broad progressive policies that are unlikely to get support from fossil fuel companies or trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Between the lines: Moniz said speaking at the Chamber appealed to him because the powerful lobby group, long known for fighting climate-change policies, has “put out some strong statements recently about needing to move beyond the inaction phase.”

  • But, Moniz added, he’ll be sending a “very strong message that everybody, including the Chamber and their membership, has to walk the talk.”

One level deeper: Today’s speech is Moniz’s first on this topic since he laid out the broad parameters in a CNBC opinion piece this spring. Some of what he's likely to promote includes...

  • A price on carbon dioxide emissions, which Moniz says is “a good thing” but not a panacea. He says it needs to be structured in a way that doesn't hurt the poorest people the most and doesn't replace policies that reduce emissions for certain sectors, especially transportation.
  • Support for technologies and fuel sources that are controversial among some Democrats and environmentalists, including natural gas and nuclear power.

What’s next: Moniz will be speaking on this same topic in late September tied to a major UN climate summit in New York.

Go deeper: How California can meet its aggressive clean energy law

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.

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