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Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Pioneer Public Affairs, a lobbying firm focused on climate and clean energy, unveiled new hires Thursday including Charlie Ellsworth, who until weeks ago was a budget aide to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Driving the news: Other names include Dr. Sweta Chakraborty — whose resume includes work with the climate action social network We Don't Have Time — and Brian Willis, who spent years with the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign.

  • The firm was founded by Joe Britton, who was formerly chief of staff for Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich.
  • Bloomberg's piece on the firm notes that he's been "quietly building up the new venture over the past year."

Of note: A news release notes Ellsworth worked for Schumer on budget reconciliation, the process that makes certain spending and revenue measures immune from filibuster.

  • It's how Democrats moved the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan earlier this year and may become the pathway for moving climate-related infrastructure and tax measures.

Catch up fast: Clients include the advocacy group Climate Power, the big power company NextEra Energy Resources (with hydrogen as a focus), and Charm Industrial, a startup with negative emissions tech that converts waste biomass into an oil that's injected underground.

What we're watching: Pioneer is working with multiple clients on carbon storage matters, and Willis tells Axios that one focus is on changing the tax code so that existing storage incentives apply to carbon in liquid and solid form.

Go deeper

Bill Gates pledges $1.5B for climate projects with Energy Department

Photo: K Asif/India Today Group via Getty Images

Bill Gates has pledged $1.5 billion to climate collaborations with the Department of Energy (DOE) through his climate investment fund Breakthrough Energy Catalyst, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The backdrop: Global warming is happening so fast that scientists now say we'll cross a crucial temperature threshold as early as 2030, up to a decade sooner than previously thought. The projects would depend on passage of President Biden's $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which currently awaits a House vote.

Biden's climate communications challenge

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The United Nations IPCC's alarming sixth assessment report, released Monday, was splashed across newspaper front pages, at the top of most mainstream news websites, and received significant TV coverage on cable and network broadcasts.

Yes, but: The report — the panel's most comprehensive look at how humans are altering the planet's climate in sweeping ways — failed to register, let alone resonate, with swing voters, according to an unscientific sampling from two Engagious/Schlesinger focus groups conducted Tuesday evening.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.