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Michael Bloomberg speaks at the "Paris to Pittsburgh" film screening on Feb. 13. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Bloomberg Philanthropies

Absent from billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s $500 million "Beyond Carbon" campaign to get off coal and natural gas is any mention of nuclear energy, America’s largest source of carbon-free electricity.

What they’re saying: An aide to Bloomberg told Axios the former New York mayor and climate advocate isn’t taking a "hard stance" on nuclear. "We’ll pursue all of the options available, including nuclear," the aide said. "If nuclear is determined to be the best alternative to coal, oil and gas, our work will support it. In other cases, there may be a different alternative worth pursuing."

The big picture: Nuclear power is controversial for several reasons — namely the lack of a permanent way to store its radioactive waste. But the energy source nonetheless provides more than half of America’s carbon-free power.

Where it stands: Numerous nuclear plants have closed or are set to close before their federal licenses require because their operators say they’re not economically sustainable. Natural gas often replaces them, raising greenhouse gas emissions.

One level deeper: Several states have passed or are considering policies to subsidize their nuclear plants. The Bloomberg aide cited Illinois and New Jersey as states whose policies Bloomberg supports, and one pending in Ohio — where the proposal also includes repealing some renewable-energy policies — that Bloomberg opposes.

Reality check: While a chunk of Bloomberg’s money could throw a temporary lifeline to some nuclear plants, the problem facing this sector is more systemic.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.