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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

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  2. World: Greece tightens coronavirus restrictions as Europe cases spike.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: Fully at-home rapid COVID test to move forward.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."

Trump's legacy is shaped by his narrow interests

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Trump's policy legacy is as much defined by what he's ignored as by what he's involved himself in.

The big picture: Over the past four years, Trump has interested himself in only a slim slice of the government he leads. Outside of trade, immigration, a personal war against the "Deep State" and the hot foreign policy issue of the moment, Trump has left many of his Cabinet secretaries to work without interruption, let alone direction.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
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AI and automation are creating a hybrid workforce

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

AI and automation are receiving a boost during the coronavirus pandemic that in the short term is creating a new hybrid workforce rather than destroying jobs outright.

The big picture: While the forces of automation and AI will eliminate some jobs and create some new ones, the vast majority will remain but be dramatically changed. The challenge for employers will be ensuring workforces are ready for the effects of technology.