Nov 8, 2017

Washington energy veterans launch new firm

Four Washington veterans are today launching a new energy and environmental consultancy, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The firm, called COEFFICIENT Group, brings together a rare mix of expertise that cuts across fossil fuels, climate change and, yes, the political aisle too. The group's formation is hyper relevant with the energy and environmental worlds scrambling to respond to President Trump as he unwinds most of what his predecessor did in this area.

The people behind the firm:

  • Tom Lawler, a former top adviser to Sen. Tom Carper (D., Del.)
  • Cameron Prell, a lawyer whose expertise includes clean energy and climate issues
  • Frank Fannon, most recently a top executive in the Washington office of BHP Billiton, one of the world's biggest mining and petroleum companies
  • Tom Hassenboehler, former top Republican energy adviser for the House Energy and Commerce Committee

One level deeper: The firm isn't shying away from work that includes both traditional energy and climate change. It has big goals to address issues as wide ranging as climate finance to digitization of the energy industry. It will also do more traditional government relations work.

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Scoop: Inside the Trump campaign's big hedge on Facebook

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump campaign has invested most of its advertising budget to date on Facebook, testing thousands of versions of ads per day to maximize its spending.

But behind the scenes, a source familiar with the campaign tells Axios, the thinking has shifted: "As everyone can see, we still have strong spending on Facebook, but the percentage of our total media budget [on Facebook] is shrinking."

Trump's revenge tour has the House in its sights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Contributor

In the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections — buoyed by Republican control of both chambers — President Trump viewed campaigning for the House as a lower-tier priority and instead poured his energy into rallying for the Senate.

But after the GOP reckoning in 2018, and experiencing firsthand how damaging a Democratic-led House has been to him, Trump is now personally invested in helping Republicans regain the majority in November, several people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Pelosi warns U.S. allies against working with China's Huawei

Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

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