Happy Friday! I buried the title of a great Rolling Stones song in the newsletter today. Can you spot it? Let's head into the weekend with something great from the same era.
As Mike Allen often writes in Axios AM...
This is not normal: The Energy Department's PR shop yesterday used their official Twitter feed to highlight the notion that secretary Rick Perry is "winning" a "fight" against climate scientists.
The tweet, which drew lots of attention and criticism from the left, links to an op-ed in The Hill by Canadian economist and climate skeptic Ross McKitrick that praises Perry for questioning the dominant scientific views about human-driven global warming.
Quick take: The decision to highlight the column — and repeat phrasing about fighting scientists — underscores the Trump administration's head-on confrontation with the scientific mainstream. Plus, DOE is a major funder of scientific research.
DOE did not respond to an inquiry about the tweet.
From Axios' Amy Harder...
I wrote yesterday about how Pruitt's proposed climate science debate is under fire from both supporters and critics of his wider agenda. On Thursday I talked with Bill Ruckelshaus, the very first administrator of the EPA when Republican President Richard Nixon created it in 1970. He was more muted in his response, and raised an interesting point.
Quoted: "We've had a fairly sophisticated scientific review for climate and public health and environmental issues, and I don't see an awful lot gained by going through the same thing again," said Ruckelshaus, who turned 85 this past Monday. "If he wants to do it and he has a balanced committee, and it isn't something biased toward a preconceived point of view, it shouldn't hurt."
My thought bubble: Those are big "if's." A worthy discussion about the precise extent of the human-induced causes of climate change and the range of consequences would be healthy, but many are worried that Pruitt won't have a balanced committee and will come into the debate with preconceived views dismissing climate change as an issue altogether.
More on the U.K.'s big move: HSBC is out with a short note that gets to the importance of newly announced U.K. plans to ban sales of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.
Jigsaw puzzle: A pair of University of California-Davis experts have a new post that explores why, despite a surge in pro-EV policies and industry plans, electric passenger cars are just one piece of a much bigger challenge in curbing worldwide oil thirst.
Barriers: As Tesla starts rolling out its Model 3 sedans, MIT Technology Review has a detailed look at the challenges to bringing EVs to the mass market.
Clack upside the head: Greentech Media's Interchange podcast chats with Christopher Clack, a lead author of the study rebutting research which claimed the U.S. could be powered exclusively by renewables by mid-century.
Key points: The hour-long Clack interview is worth a listen, but here's the nuts and bolts...
Sanctions in focus: The latest Platts Capitol Crude podcast out this morning looks at the politics and industry impact of legislation that would expand sanctions against Russia with new limits on energy projects, as well as potential Trump administration actions against U.S. imports of Venezuelan crude.
(Editor's note: It was taped before the Senate cleared the House version of the Russia sanctions bill yesterday, but still on point.)
Carbon taxes: The conservative American Enterprise Institute's latest Banter podcast has an interesting debate over proposals to tax carbon emissions and prospects for political action.
Elon Musk's dream: WBUR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook hosts a discussion with journalists and academics about the feasibility and status of Musk's proposed "Hyperloop" rapid-transit idea.
Yesterday's Generate highlighted claims by a former high-level official on the Environmental Protection Agency's transition team, David Schnare, who alleged in a column that Pruitt did not "engage" with senior career managers and at one point ordered an action "not permitted under law" (a cryptic claim that Schnare did not elaborate on in the column).
Striking back: Spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Schnare's allegations are "false," and disputes his claim that he was in line for a top spot before clashing with Pruitt. Bowman said via email:
"His claims are wildly untrue and his references to things like 'professional ethics' and 'sensitive issues' and 'actions taken outside the law' without any specificity, tends to point to a lack of veracity in his claims. All Schnare saw while he was here was Administrator Pruitt's first two weeks of nearly exclusive meetings with career senior staff at all the program offices, and regular or at least weekly, meetings with career and political staff on a variety of issues."
Sanctions: Congress has forced Trump's hand now that the Senate on Thursday approved the House version of a sanctions package targeting Russia, North Korea, and Iran. The White House has given mixed signals about whether Trump will sign it, but it has a strong veto-proof majority in both chambers anyway.
Interior: Top Democrats on two House committee are asking the Interior Department's inspector general and the Government Accountability Office to investigate reports that Zinke pressured Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski to reverse her opposition to the Senate health care bill (which she later helped to defeat).
Climate: The Office of Management and Budget has posted more records of meetings this month between outside parties and federal personnel about EPA's looming proposal to formally start rescinding former President Obama's Clean Power Plan. You can find them here, here, and here.