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Rick Perry speaks with Jim VandeHei and Chuck Todd at an Axios/NBC energy policy event Thursday morning in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chuck Kennedy / Axios

Energy secretary Rick Perry joined an Axios/NBC event this morning, helping us drive the discussion about the administration's energy policy priorities in 2017. Perry told Axios' CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei and NBC's Chuck Todd that he thinks climate change is real and humans "have an impact on it," but that "I still think the science is out on" whether humans cause 100% of it.

Yes, but: The scientific consensus is that human activities have been the primary driver of the warming trend since the mid-20th century.

On nuclear power: "It's zero emissions…Are we smart enough to deal with the waste? I think we are. That's a political issue."

The reasoning behind revitalizing the coal industry: "If you can guarantee me that the wind's going to blow tomorrow…then I'll buy into that. But you can't...Our job is to make sure the electricity's on."

About the future of energy: "The holy grail of energy may be in a national lab…and it's about battery storage…battery storage changes the world."

On Puerto Rico response: "We were slow getting [electricity] back if we use Florida and Texas as your model," but Puerto Rico is different.

Go deeper

DiDi to delist from NYSE under Chinese govt pressure

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese ride-hail giant DiDi said it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, following a Chinese government crackdown on foreign listings.

Why it matters: This reflects how geopolitical tensions are bleeding into the capital markets.

Updated 27 mins ago - Health

Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hawaii became on Thursday the fifth state to confirm the newly discovered Omicron variant after New York announced five new cases earlier in the day.

The latest: In Hawaii, the variant was found in an unvaccinated O'ahu resident with moderate symptoms who had previously been infected with COVID-19, per a state health department statement. The variant has also been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Senate Dems receive max donations from Nord Stream 2 lobbyist

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A major Democratic donor and Nord Stream 2 lobbyist has made maximum campaign contributions this year to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and vulnerable Senate Democrats, campaign finance records show.

Why it matters: If pressure from the White House to vote against reimposing sanctions on the Russia-backed natural gas pipeline weren't enough, Democrats who back such legislation also will be at loggerheads with one of their party's top fundraisers.