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Prudhoe Bay, North Slope Borough, Alaska. Photo: Orbital Horizon/Copernicus Sentinel Data 2020/Gallo Images via Getty Images

Banking giant Morgan Stanley updated its environmental policy late last week, vowing that it will not "directly finance new oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic."

Why it matters: Per Bloomberg, they're now the fifth major U.S. bank to say they will not back drilling in the region.

  • It's yet another problem for the Trump administration's efforts to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil-and-gas development, though industry interest in the expensive region is already deeply uncertain.

But, but, but: "There’s a limit to the bank vows, which generally only rule out financing tied to individual projects — such as underwriting a specific Arctic drilling venture. The pledges wouldn’t get in the way of a bank providing broad financing to oil companies that operate mostly in Alaska or the Arctic," the Bloomberg piece notes.

Go deeper: Why big banks are breaking up with some fossil fuels

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 29, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Trump heads to Texas oil patch as “dominance” agenda teeters

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Trump will tout his policy of "restoring energy dominance" in Texas oil country Wednesday, but market forces, OPEC and a raging pandemic are complicating his plans.

Driving the news: Trump's swing through the state today includes a visit in Midland to a Double Eagle Energy oil rig and speech on energy, and a fundraiser in Odessa.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says extremists have discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

3 hours ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.