A fin whale surfaces near offshore oil rigs. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A tangible shift over the last two years is sharpening among the world’s biggest oil companies, including in America, to more readily acknowledge and address climate change.

The bottom line: The trend, fueled by investor and lawsuit pressure, is underway regardless of, and partly in response to, President Trump’s retreat on the matter.

Driving the news:

  • Via E&E News: Chevron now says it backs a carbon tax, under certain terms. “It would have to be a ‘well-designed policy,'" spokesman Sean Comey said by email to the publication. That appears to be a shift from last year, when a Chevron spokeswoman told the same publication “that the company ‘does not support general calls for implementing a price on carbon.’”
  • Via Alaska Public Radio: “‘There’s been a real sea change in the last 18 months or so in how the oil industry approaches climate change as a financial issue,’ said Andrew Logan of Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that works with investors and companies to make the business case for environmentally friendly practices.”
  • Via Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs’ co-head of global natural resources, Gonzalo Garcia, said in a presentation at a conference in Norway Wednesday that “he’s probably spent more time talking with oil company executives about the energy shift and renewables in the last two years than the previous 23 put together.” Garcia says he predicts U.S. companies like Exxon and Chevron will invest in renewables like their counterparts in Europe.

Go deeper: Exxon, Chevron join global industry group on climate

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Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

48 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.