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Seth Perlman / AP

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said Friday at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston that breakthrough is possible in the ethanol wars because both sides have reason to come to the table. The Texas Republican said he's trying to broker a compromise over the federal biofuels mandate, called the Renewable Fuel Standard, between interests from oil- and corn-producing states.

Why it matters: the RFS has long been the stuff of furious lobbying battles between different business interests. It pits the oil industry, which says the program is badly broken and unwieldy, against crop farming and ethanol interests that are influential in heartland states.

What's next: Cornyn, who represents a state with major oil refiners, said corn interests have reason to come to the table. That's because a 2007 law sets specific requirements for escalating amounts of various kinds of biofuels in the nation's fuel mix through 2022, but after that puts full authority over the levels in the hands of EPA regulators.

"It's in their interest to engage because after 2022 the mandate goes away and goes to the EPA administrator, and the EPA has been somewhat skeptical about ethanol and its viability long term," he said. Rep. John Shimkus, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is working on a parallel effort across the Capitol.

Go deeper

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
40 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

Updated 10 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.