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.

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Trump says he expects to announce a Supreme Court nominee "next week"

President Trump speaking prior to his departure from the White House on Sept. 19. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump said Saturday he expects to announce a nominee for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat “next week” and that the person will “most likely" be a woman.

What he's saying: "If somebody were to ask me now, I would say that a woman would be in first place, yes. The choice of a woman, I would say, would certainly be appropriate," the president told pool reporters.

Susan Collins says Senate should postpone Supreme Court vote

Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Tom Williams/Getty Images

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday she believes whoever is elected in the 2020 presidential race should pick the nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat.

Why it matters: Collins will be key in how the nomination process plays out. As one of the most centrist Senate Republicans, whether or not the Senate confirms Trump's SCOTUS nominee could hinge on her vote.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 30,602,281 — Total deaths: 953,591— Total recoveries: 20,833,568Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 6,751,119 — Total deaths: 198,969 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 93,150,052Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  5. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.