Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Conservatives are slowly coming around on climate change.

Over the past few years, more than a half-dozen organizations have popped up pushing conservative climate-change and clean-energy policies, and the percentage of congressional Republicans going on the record acknowledging climate is a problem has gone from zero to 8%, as judged by a House caucus on the issue.

Why it matters: Since 2010, climate change has been an issue unilaterally pushed by the Democratic Party, but for any climate and energy policy to pass Congress, it must also get support from within the GOP ranks.

The changes among Republicans are small, but represent a sea change from a few years ago when under pressure from conservative interest groups and tea-party activism, most Republicans denied the scientific consensus that human activity is driving up the Earth's temperature.

"Tectonic plates beneath the Republican party are not stable," said Jerry Taylor, who in 2014 founded the Niskanen Center, a conservative group that supports a carbon tax to address climate change. "That's not obvious to anyone who is not engaging with Republicans on climate, but it's fairly obvious to us."

Here's some evidence:

  • A group of conservative leaders from previous GOP administrations helped create the Climate Leadership Council in February to build the case for a carbon tax. They have a planned $10 million budget, according to its founder Ted Halstead. The group is set to announce additional political leaders and a group of Fortune 100 companies backing their effort next month, have just opened a London office and last week hired two former GOP administration officials: Jill Sigal, a former top Energy Department official in the George W. Bush administration, and Taiya Smith, who worked under Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson in the same Bush administration.
  • Last year the Niskanen Center received a $70,000 grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the first that foundation has given to the group. This foundation's support is notable because it was created by the Rockefeller family made rich and famous for its oil business. The foundation is now divesting from fossil fuels and has funded activist group 350.org.
  • Of the 19 Republican members of a bipartisan climate caucus in the House created last year, 12 joined this year, including Rep. Darrell Issa of California. Jay Butera, who on behalf of advocacy group Citizens Climate Lobby helped create the caucus, said it took three years to find the first Republican, Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida.
  • The Energy and Enterprise Initiative, a conservative climate group founded by former GOP Rep. Bob Inglis in 2012, just received its first multi-year grant, which isn't public yet so its details weren't available, Inglis told Axios. Membership of its grassroots group, republicEn, has doubled since the election.
  • The Environmental Defense Fund and Nature Conservancy, two centrist environmental groups known for working with businesses, each received $10 million grants for two years from the MacArthur Foundation in 2015. Multiple people familiar with that funding say the money is targeted to help attract conservative support for climate policy.

To be sure: Republican policies on climate change aren't coming any time soon. Unlike issues such as healthcare where the GOP recognized it needed to replace, and not just repeal, President Obama's accomplishments, Republicans aren't focused on replacing Obama's climate regulations — repeal remains the focus for now. All House Republicans also backed a symbolic measure last year condemning a carbon tax. One Republican strategist described the party's overall position on the issue now as being an "agnostic holding pattern."

"I think we're at a point where most Republicans accept the climate is warming but don't see it as world ending and don't see a solution that'll really make a real impact," said a Republican strategist who has held positions in GOP political campaigns and congressional offices.

Looking ahead: In separate interviews, Halstead and Taylor said action could pick up after the 2018 midterm elections, and both predicted some Republicans could even start pushing legislation creating a carbon tax around that time.

Like Harder Line? Sign up for Generate, the Axios daily energy newsletter, to get this and more energy news in your inbox.

Go deeper

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.