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Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,213 words/< 5 minutes read.
Tomorrow will mark exactly 31 years since Public Enemy released "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back," so that pioneering act has today's intro tune...
A Greenpeace rally June 12 in front of DNC headquarters calls for a presidential campaign climate debate. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Here are a few takeaways from the first Democratic primary debate last night in Miami, which is baking under record heat for this time of year.
1. The wide lens: A number of Democrats wove the topic into broader economic and industrial policy messages. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who's jockeying with Sen. Bernie Sanders for second in recent polls behind Joe Biden, went there fast during a wide-ranging answer to the night's first question on her economic plans.
2. A glass half-empty: Climate also got its own round of specific questions at the 82-minute mark — a departure from its near-total absence in recent cycles.
3. A big deal: The most prominent mentions were the briefest. A lightning round at the end asked candidates to name the greatest geopolitical threat to the U.S.
4. Jay Inslee goes broader: The Washington State governor used some early sections to show that his candidacy, while climate-focused, isn't climate-exclusive.
5. Beto's case: He made a pitch to Iowa voters, bringing his answer in the climate segment back to his visit to Pacific Junction, Iowa, which has been hit by major flooding.
ExxonMobil is looking to scale up technology that takes carbon dioxide out of the sky by partnering with one of the startups pursuing that tech, Axios' Amy Harder reports.
Driving the news: Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, announced a joint development agreement Thursday with Global Thermostat, a company co-founded in 2010 by a former Exxon scientist, Peter Eisenberger.
Why it matters: Large oil companies, including Chevron and Occidental Petroleum, are pursuing carbon removal amid shareholder pressure to adopt more climate-friendly strategies.
Go deeper: Read Amy's full story.
Separately, BP's venture arm is investing $30 million in the alternative protein startup Calysta, which the companies said will "use BP’s natural gas to produce protein for fish, livestock and pet feeds."
U.S. power generation from renewables was higher than coal in April for the first time, new Energy Information Administration data shows.
Why it matters: It's a milestone that shows the sweeping changes underway in the country's electricity sector.
By the numbers: Renewables provided 23% of total generation in April while coal, which has been steadily losing market share to gas and renewables for years, slipped to 20%.
But, but, but: It's likely to flip back soon. Overall power demand is lowest in the spring and fall when heating and cooling demand are relatively low.
The bottom line: Absent some unlikely reversal of current trends, April's dynamic will become the norm in the years ahead.
People: EPA's top air quality regulator William Wehrum, who has faced sharp criticism for his past work with polluting industries, is departing the agency at the end of this month, EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said Wednesday.
Policy: Bloomberg reports that EPA is "throwing a lifeline" to a stalled proposal for a huge gold and copper mine that would be located near Alaska's Bristol Bay.
Axios' Joann Muller reports ... Auto industry profits are going to be squeezed for the foreseeable future as companies spend heavily on electric and autonomous vehicles amid stagnating global sales, per new research from Alix Partners.
Why it matters: The high cost of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) means there's a near-term "profit desert" the industry must cross until consumer demand grows, Alix forecasts.
By the numbers: The global auto industry plans to invest $225 billion on electric vehicles between now and 2023, according to the research unveiled this week.