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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

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
4 hours ago - Health

CDC panel: COVID vaccines should go to health workers, long-term care residents first

Hospital staff work in the COVID-19 intensive care unit in Houston. Photo: Go Nakamura via Getty

Health-care workers and nursing home residents should be at the front of the line to get coronavirus vaccines in the United States once they’re cleared and available for public use, an independent CDC panel recommended in a 13-1 emergency vote on Tuesday, per CNBC.

Why it matters: Recent developments in COVID-19 vaccines have accelerated the timeline for distribution as vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna undergo the federal approval process. States are preparing to begin distributing as soon as two weeks from now.