Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of 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!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

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!

"Axios on HBO"

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told "Axios on HBO" he intends to "lean into" climate change and that he has already discussed potential common ground with President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry.

Behind the scenes: In a follow-up interview with Axios, Graham said Kerry called him in November, around the time Kerry's new position was announced, to see if there were openings to work together.

  • The State Department did not comment on the discussion Graham described.

The intrigue: Graham has a history on climate with Kerry — but not a successful one.

  • Over a decade ago, he negotiated for months on a sweeping climate bill with then-Democratic senators Kerry and Joe Lieberman.
  • Back then, the bipartisan senators were dubbed "The Three Amigos," after the Steve Martin comedy in which silent film actors from Los Angeles accidentally protect a Mexican village from a gang of bandits.
  • But Graham abruptly walked away from the two Democrats in April 2010, dealing a mortal blow to the legislation that collapsed entirely months later.

Why it matters: If the senior South Carolina Republican makes climate a priority and lobbies his GOP colleagues, it could help chip away at big barriers to bipartisan efforts.

  • "I'm trying to get the Republican Party to be thinking about a new economy," Graham told "Axios on HBO."

The big picture: Graham, who has endorsed putting a fee on carbon emissions, argues that shifts in the posture of powerful industries, including oil-and-gas companies and automakers, create new openings.

  • He repeatedly brought up General Motors' recent pledge to sell only electric cars and SUVs by 2035, and noted oil company moves to diversify into cleaner products.
  • His comments also come as the powerful American Petroleum Institute, in a shift, appears poised to endorse carbon pricing.
  • "There is a coalition to put together that didn't exist two years ago," Graham said.

What we're watching: One focus for Graham is that he wants to find ways to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles while bolstering the Highway Trust Fund.

  • It's funded by gasoline taxes — which haven't changed in three decades — but faces revenue shortfalls as cars get more efficient and electric vehicle sales grow.

Reality check: Graham has signaled interest in climate several times in recent years, such as co-sponsoring a bill with two Democrats last year to help farmers take part in carbon credit markets.

  • But overall, he hasn't made it a big priority during his Senate tenure since abandoning the 2010 effort, and his new comments cover familiar terrain for the South Carolina Republican.
  • It didn't help Graham's cause that during the past four years, the most powerful Republican, former President Donald Trump, openly mocked the concept of combatting climate change.

Between the lines: More broadly, Republicans remain resistant to the kind of aggressive emissions-cutting policies that Democrats and environmentalists are seeking.

  • And carbon pricing is no longer a centerpiece of Democratic climate efforts. Lawmakers and Biden administration officials, seeking deep emissions cuts, are instead emphasizing large-scale investments and tough regulatory standards to cut emissions from power plants, cars and more.

Go deeper

Intel CEO calls for "moonshot" to boost U.S. role in chipmaking

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Horacio Villalobos - Corbis/Getty Images

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called Monday for the U.S. to spend billions of dollars over the next few years as part of a "moonshot" designed to regain lost ground in semiconductor manufacturing. The goal, he said, is to see the U.S. again account for a third of global output, up from about 12% today.

Why it matters: Investments made now will take several years to bear fruit, so they won't do much to ease the current semiconductor shortage, but they're vital to America's long-term economic future and national security, Gelsinger told Axios on Monday.

Live events industry eyes pandemic comeback

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The "live economy" — broadway shows, concerts, music festivals and more — is in pandemic purgatory.

What's going on: Some events are getting the green light to restart as vaccinations roll out. But operators in states with audience caps are holding back as they contemplate whether it makes financial sense for the show to go on.

Ant Group gets new marching orders from regulators in China

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uncertainty surrounding the future of China’s giant fintech company Ant Group cleared up on Monday after years of friction with its domestic regulators.

Driving the news: Ant is shedding its cool tech image and stepping into a new identity as a financial holding company — the result of forced changes by several banking and securities agencies in China.