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

Virtual school is another setback for struggling retail industry

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A virtual school year will likely push retailers even closer to the brink.

Why it matters: Back-to-school season is the second-biggest revenue generating period for the retail sector, after the holidays. But retailers say typical shopping sprees will be smaller with students learning at home — another setback for their industry, which has seen a slew of store closures and bankruptcy filings since the pandemic hit.

1 hour ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.

Column / Harder Line

How climate and business woes are sinking a natural-gas project

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Trump administration recently touted its approval of America’s first terminal on the West Coast to export liquefied natural gas. There’s just one problem: it probably won’t be built.

Why it matters: The project in southern Oregon faces political and business hurdles serious enough that those who are following it say it will be shelved. Its problems embody the struggles facing a once-promising sector that's now struggling under the weight of the pandemic and more.