Good Monday morning. It's 21 days to the Iowa caucuses ... 29 days to the New Hampshire primary ... 193 days to the Tokyo Olympics ... 295 days to Election Day.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
President Trump pushes the biggest changes to environmental law in 50 years. The world’s biggest investor is going big on global warming. House Democrats are going it alone on climate policy.
It was easy to miss, amid hostilities with Iran, Australia burning, and other crises, Axios' Amy Harder writes in her weekly "Harder Line" energy column.
1) Democratic leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced a sweeping legislative framework on Wednesday, laying out policies that the lawmakers say could achieve net-zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions within the next three decades.
Some Republicans, are offering narrow bills focused on innovation.
2) Trump announced proposals Thursday to drastically narrow the scope of a law governing environmental reviews of America’s infrastructure, as a way to hasten the construction of everything from bridges to pipelines.
3) BlackRock, the world’s largest asset investor, joined Climate Action 100+, an investor network pushing companies to be more transparent and aggressive in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
4) The Trump administration on Friday imposed more sanctions on Iran, deepening a policy whose centerpiece is sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.
Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic's initial denial that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner, AP reports.
Videos sent to the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran and later verified by AP show a crowd of demonstrators near Azadi, or Freedom, Square fleeing as a tear gas canister landed among them.
Tehran's police chief, Gen. Hossein Rahimi, later denied his officers opened fire though the semiofficial Fars news agency said police "shot tear gas in some areas."
In 1967, at the height of the Cold War, the FBI began collecting information on thousands of Chinese scientists and students in cities across the U.S., according to "The Scientist and the Spy," a forthcoming book by former Shanghai correspondent Mara Hvistendahl.
In the book, out Feb. 4, Hvistendahl traces the history of China's theft of trade secrets, using the case of a Chinese scientist imprisoned in 2016 for stealing corn seed from Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer.
The result: A "rolodex of an estimated four thousand ethnically Chinese scientists under surveillance."
Our thought bubble: The spate of investigations and indictments is a response to a real problem.
"After a big push toward telework in the Obama administration, President Trump’s government is scaling it back at multiple agencies," the WashPost's Lisa Rein reports.
Telecommuting has been dialed back at Agriculture, Education, Interior and the EPA, as well as parts of Commerce, HHS and the Social Security Administration.
Attorney General Bill Barr is "the most feared, criticized, and effective member of Trump’s Cabinet," advancing a lifeline mission to protect executive power, David Rohde writes in The New Yorker.
Barr has strong opinions on issues ranging from legal arcana to the proper mustard to apply to a sandwich.
He designed his own home, a sprawling house in McLean, Virginia, and is not above boasting about it. During a trip to Scotland with a friend, he quizzed the owner of a local inn about whether the paint on the wall was "Card Room Green or Green Smoke, by Farrow & Ball." The innkeeper had no idea what he was talking about.
In high school, Barr was known as "Billy."
James Carville, the last Democratic strategist to unseat an incumbent Republican president, today endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) for president, per the campaign.
Carville will campaign for Bennet in New Hampshire ahead of the primary.
Former Pope Benedict, 92, in a book written with a conservative cardinal, defends priestly celibacy in an apparent strategic appeal to Pope Francis, 83, to keep the centuries-old rules, Reuters' Philip Pullella writes from Vatican City.
Why it matters: Pope Francis is considering a recommendation that would allow the ordination of married men as priests in the remote Amazon.
Stephen Colbert will be executive producer of "Tooning Out The News," a series for CBS All Access where animated characters mock news of the day, and interview real world guests and newsmakers, Deadline reports:
The Center for American Progress tomorrow will convene prominent Obama administration alumni to create a foreign-policy "master plan" for what they hope will be an incoming Democratic president in 2021.
The Kansas City Chiefs dug out of a 24-0 hole to beat the Houston Texans, 51-31 — becoming the first team in NFL playoff history to win by at least 20 points after trailing by at least 20, AP reports.
What's next: After a thriller divisional weekend, the Chiefs host the Tennessee Titans at 3 p.m. ET Sunday for the AFC spot in the Super Bowl.
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