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"Political Climate" podcast is now backed by USC Schwarzenegger Institute and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Photos: Brooks Kraft/Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

"Political Climate," a podcast that tracks the politics and substance of global warming policy, has new partners and wider ambitions.

What's new: It's now backed by the USC Schwarzenegger Institute and Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. The first episode of the new season landed this morning.

  • "Political Climate" was previously a Greentech Media project, and Greentech's Julia Pyper will remain the host, but she's moving into a contributing editor role there and spending more time on the pod.

Why it matters: Climate change has become a front-burner political topic in the 2020 White House election cycle, a break with past national elections. It's also a big focus on Capitol Hill.

How it works: Involvement of Schwarzenegger's institute and DiCaprio's foundation will mean "collaboration on many activities including sponsorship funding, marketing support, guests, live shows, international events, calls to action, and engagement with students," Brandon Hurlbut, partner with the energy advisory firm Boundary Stone Partners, said in an email.

  • Hurlbut, who served as chief of staff to Obama-era Energy Secretary Steven Chu, joins Pyper each week with Shane Skelton, a partner with the consulting firm S2C Pacific and previously a senior aide to former GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan.

What's next: Guests this season are slated to include former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. He said in a statement:

"As 7 million people die every year from pollution, the Political Climate podcast is bringing bipartisan conversations about energy and the environment to the public at a critical time and that's why the USC Schwarzenegger Institute is excited to partner with them."

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.