Jun 11, 2018

GOP senators to Trump: Back this Obama-era climate policy

Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

13 Republican senators are urging President Trump to back a policy achieved under former President Obama that they say would create American manufacturing jobs. It would also cut greenhouse gas emissions, but that went unmentioned.

Why it matters: In a letter, dated last week and obtained by Axios on Monday, the senators don’t mention "Obama" or "climate change." It's one of the starkest signs of how the Republican Party is willing to support efforts cutting emissions as long as they don’t mention one of these two hyper-polarizing topics.

A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council confirmed the administration has received the letter, and said it's now under review. The spokesman didn't comment further.

The details: The policy at issue is an amendment to a global treaty phasing down refrigerants in appliances that emit powerful greenhouse gas emissions. The senators talk up how the amendment would help “secure America’s place as the global leader in several manufacturing industries.”

What’s next: In order for it to go into effect, the Trump administration would need to send it over to the Senate for its review, and ultimately vote on whether to approve it. In the letter, the senators urge Trump to send it to the chamber for review.

Go deeper: Industry touts economic gains of Obama’s climate policy to Trump; How your air conditioner plays catch-up to regulations

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Energy deputy secretary nominee in hot water after contradicting Trump

Mark Menezes speaks at a forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, June 12. Photo: Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Trump administration officials are internally raising concerns about President Trump’s nominee for Energy deputy secretary, who appeared to openly contradict the president on nuclear waste storage at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain last week.

Driving the news: While speaking at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing last Wednesday, Mark Menezes told members of the panel that the Trump administration is still interested in storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and that “what we're trying to do is to put together a process that will give us a path to permanent storage at Yucca."

Exclusive: Pompeo says new China media restrictions "long overdue"

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has designated five Chinese state media outlets as "foreign missions," meaning that they will be treated as arms of the Chinese government.

Driving the news: In his first public statement on the new designation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Axios that the five outlets are "clearly controlled by the [Chinese Communist Party], and we are simply recognizing that fact by taking this action.”

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