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DAPL protesters in New York. Photo: Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty Images

A congressional staff report from the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology indicates that the Russian-backed propaganda group, the Internet Research Agency that was charged in the Mueller probe, worked on social media platforms to influence energy policy in the U.S., according to the WSJ.

What happened: IRA staffers posted photos and messages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram 9,000 times between 2015 and 2017 to encourage protests of pipeline construction in the U.S., abandoning fossil fuels use, and worked to elevate climate change disputes and controversies. It is not clear that the campaign had any influence on U.S. energy policy and many of the posts were shared by “a handful of followers,” per the WSJ.

  • Facebook and Twitter said they took down the IRA accounts last year because they violated their policies.
  • The report is based on data supplied by Facebook and Twitter, the WSJ reports.

Russia context: Chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, told the WSJ: “To the extent that America produces more energy of any kind, it guarantees Russia more competition…Russia wants to reduce competition from the United States.”

  • "Russia has responded to the growth of American oil production with an unprecedented deal to cut its oil production in coordination with other big exporters, an effort to cap supply and stabilize plunging prices," the WSJ's Georgia Wells Timothy Puko write.
  • The Russian embassy in Washington, D.C. declined comment to the WSJ but sent previous comments from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denying claims of Russia using social media to sow discord in the U.S.

Go deeper: Mueller indicts 13 Russians and 3 Russian entities, including the IRA

Go deeper

21 mins ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
31 mins ago - Technology

Report: China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few year's lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

Americans agree about more issues than they realize

Data: Populace Inc.; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Many Americans assume the rest of the country doesn't share their political and policy priorities — but they're often wrong, according to new polling by Populace, first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: The polling reveals that despite growing political polarization, Americans share similar long-term goals and priorities for the country.