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John Hickenlooper. Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

HOUSTON — Democratic 2020 hopeful John Hickenlooper, the former Colorado governor, told energy executives at CERAWeek that "urgency" is needed to tackle climate change, but steered clear of offering policy specifics.

The big picture: Hickenlooper casts himself as a problem-solving "doer" as he seeks the moderate lane in the progressive field. He often touts the methane regulation deal he forged as governor of an oil-and-gas state.

Hickenlooper praised the Green New Deal while keeping some distance from it. "I support the urgency of the Green New Deal," he said onstage at CERAWeek, one of many times he used the "u" word.

  • "It's a very ambitious and maybe excessively ambitious goal," he said Thursday evening.
  • "I think the point of it is the sense of urgency that we have got to go hard and fast, and it is going to take all the tools in the toolkit to get to a cleaner economy."

He said the "urgency" stems partly from feedback loops in which warming frees methane frozen in the tundra in Canada, Alaska and elsewhere.

Where it stands: I asked him for policy plans and he demurred, saying his platform isn't ready. But Hickenlooper offered reporters some wide-angle thoughts on the sidelines of the event.

  • He noted some U.S. emissions reductions have come because manufacturing has gone abroad. “That’s not how we want to win,” Hickenlooper said.
  • “I think most people would say, well if we are going to build stuff, we would rather have the energy consumption here where we control it and make sure it’s greener than having that production move to Asia or the Middle East or wherever,” he added.

More from CERAWeek: Debating the future of electric vehicles in oil country

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.