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Happy Friday! It's the end of the beginning for Generate as we finish week two of the newsletter. Thanks so much for reading. Your tips and feedback are always welcome at ben@axios.com. And a reminder that you can sign up for all the Axios newsletters, including our cool new tech newsletter Login, by clicking here. Ok, onward . . .

Breaking Friday morning: new global CO2 data

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The International Energy Agency has just reported that 2016 global carbon emissions from energy were flat for the third year in a row.

Why it matters: The Paris-based agency calls the latest findings more evidence of the "decoupling" of emissions from global economic growth. IEA executive director Fatih Birol calls it a "cause for optimism" but warns it's too soon to say emissions have peaked.

The IEA findings note that the world still isn't on track to keep the global temperature increase less than 2°C above preindustrial levels, the goal of the Paris climate accord.

The details: U.S. carbon emissions fell 3% thanks to gas and renewables' ongoing displacement of coal in power production. The country's CO2 output is at its lowest level since 1992. Emissions in China, the world's biggest CO2 source, fell by 1% even as the economy grew by 6.7%, IEA said. Renewables, nuclear and gas have an increasing share of electricity generation, and efforts to clean up China's polluted air are driving a shift from coal to gas at industrial plants and buildings, the agency said.

Snapshot from the budget brushoff

That was quick: There are already plenty of signs that Republican lawmakers won't get behind proposals to end or deeply cut energy and environmental programs in the White House budget plan. Thursday brought a slew of super-noncommittal and even critical statements from senior Republicans on the spending committees and elsewhere. Trump's proposed EPA cuts are huge and some of these non-climate EPA and energy programs he attacks are popular with both parties.

Why it matters: Yes, plenty of Republicans dislike climate initiatives and you'll also find backing to trim green energy R&D, but overall it's clear that lawmakers see Trump's proposal as a political wish list, not a guide. For instance, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that writes EPA's budget, and she also leads the Energy Committee. She flatly said she "cannot support" many of the proposed cuts.

To be sure: There's indeed some alignment between Trump and congressional Republicans. Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers, chairman of the spending subcommittee that handles the State Department, was bullish on going after State's international climate funding, which Trump wants to kill outright. "I have not been too happy with those programs," said the coal industry ally.

ARPA-E’s Republican defenders

One more budget item: it's highly unlikely that Trump will succeed in his plan to kill the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, a popular Energy Department program to fund development of breakthrough tech.

  • "I think it has been an effective program and I think they do a good job. Is it something we ought to be funding? That will be a debate we have," GOP Rep. Mike Simpson, head of the Appropriations subcommittee on DOE's budget, told reporters in the Capitol.
Rep. Fred Upton, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said the program has done "good things."

Drillers are throwing more cash around

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There's more data to back up the optimistic vibe coming from oil producers these days. The prominent consulting firm Wood Mackenzie sifted through the capital spending plans of 119 companies, and 99 of them plan to boost their exploration and production investments in 2017.

Why it matters: The new findings underscore how the oil price recovery is driving new economic activity, especially in the U.S. Overall, the companies plan to spend a combined $25 billion more in 2017 than last year, an 11 percent rise.

Things look even brighter in the U.S. shale patch: "Those companies focused on the U.S. have booked the largest increase in planned spending, with budgets set to rise 60% year-on-year, accounting for $15 billion of additional investment."

The non-climate case for sticking with Paris

A short new paper is making a Trump-centric case for keeping the U.S in Paris climate change accord. Via the Center for Strategic & International Studies, Paul Bodnar's note called "An America First Climate Policy" (see what he did there?) argues that even if you don't care about climate change, there are plenty of reasons to stay involved.

The basic pitch: "Burning valuable political capital and risking a climate-related trade war seems especially unnecessary when you consider the simple, low-key requirements associated with staying in the agreement," writes Bodnar, a National Security Council energy aide under Obama.

Lowballing oil demand

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece that explores how forecasts of the world's oil thirst are consistently revised upward.

  • "The International Energy Agency's closely watched annual estimates of global crude demand have been revised up for the past seven years by an average of 880,000 barrels a day, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis," the paper reports.
The small differences can matter for prices, even in the nearly 100 million barrel daily global oil market. Per WSJ: "The oversupply that has pressured oil prices for almost three years was estimated at around 1% to 2% of the market in 2016."

Update on the GOP climate resolution

On Thursday I caught up with GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, the lead sponsor of the GOP resolution calling for action on climate change that so far has just 16 co-sponsors (we wrote about this upstream swim here).

  • More to come: Curbelo, at the Capitol, said the sponsor list will "very likely" grow quite soon. "We have many colleagues who have contacted us, they are interested, they want to learn more, they want to figure out how they can be a part of this."
  • Hoping to engage leadership—eventually: "The stronger we get, the more attention we are going to be getting from leadership, and from others. … There will be a time to have a concrete discussion with them on how we can advance some policy solutions."

Friday brings the first in-person meeting between President Trump and German chancellor Angela Merkel, who has said she wants to chat about climate change with Trump. And look for more energy coverage in the Axios stream. Generate returns Monday. Have a great weekend.

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Timeline: Devin Nunes and the Trump wiretapping claims

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Devin Nunes is facing calls to resign as chairman of House Intelligence and refusing to share, even with his own committee, the sources of his claim that the Obama administration may have surveilled President Trump. Here's how we got to this point:

January 2015: Nunes, a six-term Congressman, becomes chairman of House Intelligence Committee.

November 2016: Nunes begins advising Trump transition team.

January 25, 2017: Nunes and ranking member Adam Schiff announce they're investigating Russian election meddling, including possible communications between Russia and "political campaigns."

March 4: Trump accuses Barack Obama of having Trump Tower "wiretapped".

March 15: After initially defending Trump, Nunes says he does not believe Trump Tower was bugged. But he adds a caveat: Trump campaign communications could have been incidentally collected as part of wider surveillance efforts.

March 20: FBI Director James Comey testifies before Intel Committee, and refutes Trump's claims. Nunes reiterates that there was no "physical" wiretap, but repeats the possibility of incidental collection.

March 21: Nunes travels to White House grounds to review evidence of potential surveillance of Trump associates. The visit is not initially made public.

March 22:

  • Nunes holds unexpected press conference and says an unnamed individual (or individuals) showed him intelligence reports indicating the Obama administration captured communications involving Trump and/or his associates. He said it appeared to be legal, incidental collection but nonetheless seemed "inappropriate" and troubling.
  • Nunes briefs Trump before Schiff, despite Trump being a potential subject of the committee's investigation.
  • Trump says he feels "somewhat" vindicated.

March 23: Nunes expresses regret for failing to brief Intel committee before White House.

March 27:

  • News of Nunes' White House visit emerges.
  • He says he needed to visit WH to access to secure system, an explanation that is immediately challenged.
  • Schiff calls on Nunes to recuse himself from Russia investigation.

March 28:

  • Russia hearings scheduled for this week are abruptly cancelled, including one at which former acting AG Sally Yates was slated to testify.
  • The Washington Post reports (and the WH denies) that the Trump admin tried to block Yates from testifying.
  • Nunes says he will not share his sources for the Trump surveillance claims, even with his own committee.
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Republicans block moves to release Trump's tax returns

Andrew Harnik / AP

Republicans blocked two separate attempts today — a resolution in the Ways and Means Committee and a resolution on the House floor — by House Democrats to force a release of President Trump's tax returns, per The Hill.

  • The Democratic argument from Rep. Zoe Lofren (CA): "I think it is absolutely essential for the president's tax returns to be released so that the members of the Judiciary Committee can do their job to research whether the Emoluments Clause has been violated and whether permission should be given to the president to receive payments from foreign states."
  • The Republican rebuttal from Rep. Kevin Brady (TX): The attempts do "absolutely nothing to promote a substantive policy discussion on the real-life challenges facing the people, families, and job creators we were sent here to serve."
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White House boycotts correspondents' dinner in "solidarity" with Trump

Alex Brandon / AP

The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) has been informed that the entire White House staff will be skipping next month's White House Correspondents' Dinner in "solidarity" with President Trump.

The WH announced in February that Trump would not attend, with a spokeswoman saying at the time: "There's no reason for him to go in and sit and pretend like this is going to be just another Saturday night."

Of the full staff boycott, the WHCA said it "regrets this decision very much," adding: "Only the White House can speak to the signal it wants to send with this decision."

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Manafort's finances in Cyprus trigger investigation

Matt Rourke / AP

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies whose activities triggered a money laundering investigation by a Cypriot bank, per NBC News.

  • One of the Manafort-associated companies was involved in a nearly $20 million deal with a Russian oligarch described as "one of the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis."
  • Manafort chose to close his Cypriot accounts rather than provide additional information after their activity triggered a money laundering investigation by the Cyprus Popular Bank.
  • The accounts were set up "for a legitimate business purpose," a Manafort spokesperson told NBC News.
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House votes to roll back privacy protections for internet customers

Elise Amendola / AP

The House voted 215-to-205 Tuesday night to overturn Obama-era regulations that require internet providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T to get a user's permission before sharing their browsing history and other data with advertisers. It also prohibits the FCC from creating similar regulations in the future.

The White House has said it will recommend that President Trump sign the resolution, which was already approved by the Senate.

What it means for broadband providers: The rules hadn't yet gone into effect so this doesn't change the day-to-day ways that ISPs deal with customer data. But this likely clears the way for ISPs to go full speed ahead in taking on Facebook and Google for digital ad dollars. Meanwhile, the FCC will have to determine how to deal with privacy on broadband networks without the rules in place.

What it means for net neutrality: The vote could roil the waters on a larger debate over net neutrality. The privacy rules only exist because of the FCC's 2015 net neutrality regulations, which conservatives hate and liberals love. So this rollback — should the president sign it into law — adds a new wrinkle to that conversation.

  • One key lawmaker said this could make a legislative deal on net neutrality more difficult. "I mean, after this today, if this goes through, this is like a sledgehammer, right?" said Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the House's Energy and Commerce Committee, adding, when asked about the chances of a net neutrality bill in light of the upcoming vote, "I'm always willing to meet with people but I think this really poisons the well."
  • Republican Sen. John Thune, who will likely lead any effort to reach a deal, said he would be willing to consider adding privacy protections to a legislative compromise on net neutrality "if that were something that it took to get Democrats to the table." Marsha Blackburn, who chairs a key tech subcommittee and sponsored the House resolution to roll back the privacy rules, said that she didn't think the vote would make getting a deal more difficult. "We're doing what needs to be done," she told Axios.
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Ryan and McConnell seem to diverge on Obamacare

J. Scott Applewhite / AP; J. Scott Applewhite / AP

At the House GOP Leadership press conference this morning, Paul Ryan seemed to indicate that Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare aren't done yet:

"We want to get it right, we're gonna keep talking to each other until we get it right. I'm not gonna put a timeline on it because this is too important to not get right."

But it seemed like Mitch McConnell didn't get that message before the Senate GOP Leadership press conference this afternoon:

"I want to thank the president and speaker — they went all out to try to pass repeal and replacement. Sorry that didn't work, but our Democratic friends now have the law that they wrote and wanted. And we'll see how that works out."

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Here comes Brexit

Christopher Furlong / AP

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May signed a letter this afternoon that officially declared the country's intention to leave the European Union. Addressed to European Council President Donald Tusk, it'll be hand delivered by Sir Tim Barrow, the British ambassador to the E.U., to Brussels tomorrow afternoon.

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Dunkin' Donuts and Waze will order your coffee

Mike Mozart via Flickr CC

Boston is gearing up for a mass descent on drive thru lines: Google's Waze, the traffic navigation app, is teaming up with Dunkin' Donuts to order coffee for drivers before they arrive at brick and mortar stores, according to The Boston Globe.

If this goes well, Waze will expand the "order ahead" function to other merchants.

The partnership: Waze doesn't earn a commission on the Dunkin' Donuts sales, but Dunkin' Donuts is increasing the amount it spends on Waze ads. To place an order, users will need both the Waze and the Dunkin' Donuts apps installed and be registered with the Dunkin' loyalty program.

Why it matters: Brand loyalty for Dunkin' and Waze. Note, Starbucks had a similar partnership announced last week with Amazon's Alexa and Ford vehicles. The Dunkin' Donuts-Waze partnership allows anyone — not just Ford drivers with Alexa — to take advantage, but will bring people time and time again to both Waze and Dunkin'.

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Nunes won't share surveillance source with own committee

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes will not share the sources behind his claim that the Obama administration may have surveilled President Trump and/or his associates - even with his own committee.

Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the committee, has already called on Nunes to recuse himself from the Russia investigation after it emerged that the chairman was on White House grounds when he reviewed the alleged evidence behind his claims. One House Republican, Walter Jones, echoed that call today.

Nunes is under increasing pressure, but made this defiant statement to a Fox News reporter today:

We will never reveal those sources and methods
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Spicer tells reporter to stop shaking her head

During today's press briefing, Sean Spicer claimed that people would claim there was a Russia connection if Trump used Russian salad dressing, to which white house correspondant April Ryan began shaking her head. Spicer told her not to...

And Ryan tweeted in response:

Ryan then talked to CNN about the interaction: