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A top business trade association official and the CEO of a major pipeline company said Tuesday they want the federal government to do more on climate change — but they’re not actually backing any such plans.

Driving the news: Marty Durbin, a top official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Williams Company CEO Alan Armstrong, speaking at a Bipartisan Policy Center event Tuesday, both said they think the government should create an economy-wide policy to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

But, but, but: They don’t support any pending proposals to do that, like a carbon tax or a clean energy standard.

  • They also aren’t advocating for the government to directly regulate emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that’s also the primary component of natural gas.
  • The Obama administration started to regulate emissions, but President Trump is rolling that back.
“We do have a lot of [member] companies who already are clearly saying they are for a price on carbon. Well, guess what, there are a lot of others that don’t. Clearly, we don’t have consensus among the members. So we don’t support a price on carbon at the moment. We’re also not opposing one. We’re not lobbying against a carbon tax of any kind.”
— Marty Durbin, president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Energy Institute

Why it matters: It shows the fine line trade groups and companies are walking as they face mounting pressure from investors, the public and activists to engage on addressing climate change.

  • It also reveals how substantive support for big climate policy among some top industry officials is so far lacking despite an increase in rhetoric supporting such policy in general terms.

The context: The event, hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center (and, in full disclosure, moderated by yours truly) comes as the Senate debates the biggest energy bill in a decade.

  • The legislation boosts numerous kinds of clean technologies, but it doesn’t include any economy-wide policies or a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The Chamber, as part of a diverse coalition of interest groups that includes some environmentalists, is calling on Congress to pass it. Durbin said Tuesday he realizes this alone won’t be sufficient to tackle climate change.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, left, and Sen. Chuck Grassle (R-Iowa) look out into the crowd at a "Dole for President" rally at Hy-Vee Foods corporate office in Des Moines on April 13. Photo: J. DAVID AKE/AFP via Getty Images

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record,

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

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