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Sen. John McCain speaks about global warming on Capitol Hill in 2004. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The late Sen. John McCain explored and embraced science on global warming and co-authored early versions of cap-and-trade legislation, working across the aisle.

Flashback: Via Bloomberg BNA, "When McCain won the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2008 to face off against Obama, it was the first time both candidates for the presidency backed legislation to cap U.S. emissions."

  • The cap-and-trade measures he introduced ultimately failed in 2003 and 2005 (though the 2003 version got 55 votes).

Yes, but: McCain grew less involved with the topic as the years went on.

  • This detailed story from Inside Climate News yesterday points out that he didn't work on efforts to craft a Senate bill in 2010, when the Senate's political window to get a bill across the finish line had opened (though its debatable by how much).
  • He also voted for an unsuccessful measure that year to thwart the Obama administration's regulatory authority over greenhouse gases.

The intrigue: However, in 2017 he cast the decisive vote when the Senate very narrowly rejected a GOP-led move to kill Obama-era regulations to curb methane emissions from oil-and-gas development on public lands.

  • "McCain can be seen on the floor facing off heatedly against a half-dozen GOP senators who surround and block him before he gestures thumbs-down, a foreshadowing of his later decisive vote against the Obamacare repeal," Inside Climate News reports.

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

4 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.