Adam Sieminski, who was administrator of the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration under President Obama, says with a laugh that now he's left the government, he can have an opinion again. On the sidelines of a Brookings Institution confab in D.C. on Monday, he told Axios:

One opinion I don't have to stifle anymore is that I think the Keystone XL pipeline should have been built.

Why it matters now: With Republicans in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, some Democrats might find it more politically possible to take positions that go counter to certain liberal causes, such as opposing fossil-fuel infrastructure like Keystone, which could lead to more bipartisan energy policy.

Our thought bubble: During the seven-year Keystone XL saga (which ultimately led Obama to reject it in November 2015), many Obama administration officials privately said the fight was a distraction and the pipeline should be approved. In the end though, symbolic climate politics won out over pragmatic energy policy.

Go deeper

Biden campaign, DNC jointly raised $140 million in July

Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden campaign, the Democratic National Committee and their joint fundraising committees announced Wednesday that they raised $140 million in July.

Why it matters: With 90 days until the election, the Biden campaign and DNC now have $294 million on hand, an increase of $50 million over the past month.

Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 18,643,633 — Total deaths: 703,127 — Total recoveries — 11,206,409Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 4,811,128 — Total deaths: 157,690 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 58,239,438Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.
47 mins ago - World

How new tech raises the risk of nuclear war

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

75 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some experts believe the risk of the use of a nuclear weapon is as high now as it has been since the Cuban missile crisis.

The big picture: Nuclear war remains the single greatest present threat to humanity — and one that is poised to grow as emerging technologies, like much faster missiles, cyber warfare and artificial intelligence, upset an already precarious nuclear balance.