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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Joe Biden's campaign is emphasizing that he really, really doesn't like subsidies for fossil fuels at a time when climate activists are blasting the removal of anti-subsidy language from the Democratic National Committee platform.

What they're saying: "[Joe Biden] continues to be committed to ending U.S. fossil fuel subsidies [and] then rallying the rest of the world to do the same — as was outlined in his climate plan last year," Biden policy director Stef Feldman tweeted Wednesday.

  • "Here at home, he'll use those dollars to instead invest in a clean energy future and create union jobs," she added.

The big picture: It's not clear why the language got dropped, but it's not really consequential in terms of future policy. Nonbinding party platforms aren't especially influential.

Why it matters: The kerfuffle is nonetheless important because it represents deeper tensions on the left that will play out if Democrats win the White House (and Senate) and have a chance to implement their wider climate agenda.

Politico's Zack Colman nicely explains why it touched a nerve, writing:

"The sparring over the fossil fuel language reflects a deeper mistrust between the DNC and progressive climate activists who contend the Democratic Party has failed to take aggressive positions against oil, gas and coal companies who have lobbied against policies to swiftly reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

The intrigue: The DNC told HuffPost, which broke the story, and other outlets that the anti-subsidy language was "incorrectly included" in a late July draft.

  • But in contrast, veteran Democratic insider John Podesta told my colleague Amy Harder that removal of the language was a procedural goof.
  • “Sometimes when you’re on Zoom and all that stuff, you just screw something up,” Podesta said. “It was really just a procedural screw-up, and they’ve ended up with egg on their face.”

Go deeper

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.

Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — The recovery needs rocket fuel.
  2. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  3. Education: Devos extends federal student loan relief to Jan. 31
  4. States: New Mexico to allow hospitals to ration coronavirus medical care
  5. Vaccine: What vaccine trials still need to do.
  6. World: UN warns "2021 is literally going to be catastrophic"
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Former FDA chief Rob Califf on the vaccine approval process.
2 hours ago - Health

A safe, sane survival guide

Photo: Luka Dakskobler/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all know, it’s getting worse.

Reality check: Here are a few things every one of us can do to stay safe and sane in coming months:

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