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The Democratic fight to shape Biden's climate policy

Left-wing climate activists don't want Joe Biden getting advice from people with credentials they don't like — and they're increasingly going public with their campaign.

Why it matters: Nobody is confusing Biden with President Trump, and his climate platform goes much further than anything contemplated in the Obama years.


  • Wider battles — in public and behind the scenes — loom within Democratic and progressive circles over staffing and nomination decisions.
  • Already, per Bloomberg, some activists are pressing Biden to "distance himself from former Obama administration advisers they view as either too moderate or too cozy with the fossil-fuel industry."

What's new: Later Tuesday, groups including Stop the Money Pipeline, 350.org and Climate Finance Action plan to stage demonstrations at offices of investment behemoth BlackRock in four cities.

  • They don't want Biden to bring BlackRock execs into his administration if he wins, citing the company's investments in fossil fuels despite its sustainability initiative launched this year.
  • The demonstrations will be in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco.

What's next: Look for these debates to intensify if Biden actually wins, which is the priority for the environmental movement, especially the biggest and most influential groups.

  • The Sierra Club endorsed Biden yesterday, an expected move but one that signals a flurry of activity to come as the race intensifies this fall.
  • "Along with its endorsement, the Sierra Club has launched the biggest grassroots political operation in the organization’s 128-year history," the group said.

Where it stands: Biden's network of aides and informal advisers is pretty broad.

  • It spans former Obama-era hands but also outside activists, and he's conferred with officials like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, whose call for a 100% clean power mandate by 2035 was recently added to Biden's platform.

Quick take: "Personnel is policy," as Sen. Elizabeth Warren likes to say.

  • But Senate makeup and rules, the judiciary and competing priorities are probably bigger hurdles to sweeping action than outside advisers or potential appointees who aren't Green New Deal-y enough for some activists.

Naftali Bennett: How Israel's new PM plans to handle relations with Biden

New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is signaling he intends to move cautiously at first on issues like Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an approach that will suit the Biden administration just fine.

Why it matters: Bennett is aiming to avoid an early confrontation with the U.S., and his fragile and ideologically diverse government will have a hard time taking any groundbreaking steps on foreign policy in the first place.

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Biden: Consequences for Russia would be "devastating" if opposition leader Navalny dies

President Biden said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin during Wednesday's summit that if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies in prison, the consequences "would be devastating for Russia."

Why it matters: Although the White House had previously warned the Russian government over Navalny's imprisonment, Biden personally delivered the message to Putin on Wednesday.

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Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will support Juneteenth bill

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy will support a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday when it comes to the floor later Wednesday, his office tells Axios.

Why it matters: The House is slated to pass a bill making June 19 — Juneteenth — a federal holiday that memorializes when the last enslaved people in Texas learned about their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • It will then go to President Biden for his signature just days before the occasion and one day after the Senate passed the bill unanimously.

Biden says he raised human rights issues in Putin summit

President Biden said he raised issues including nuclear arms control, cybersecurity, election interference and violations of human rights in Russia in his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Geneva on Tuesday.

What he's saying: "My agenda is not against Russia or anybody else. It's for the American people," Biden said at a press conference following the summit, which was shorter than expected.

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Putin calls talks with Biden "constructive," says ambassadors will return to posts

Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia said Wednesday that his summit with President Biden was "constructive," and that the countries had agreed their ambassadors would imminently return to their posts in Moscow and Washington.

What he's saying: "Many of our joint positions are divergent but nevertheless I think both sides manifested a determination to try and understand each other and try and converge our positions," Putin told reporters at a press conference immediately following the meetings.

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Southwest heat wave intensifies, 40 million likely to see 100-degree temperatures

A punishing and long-enduring heat wave is intensifying in parts of the West and Southwest, with heat warnings and advisories in effect across seven states Wednesday. The heat will not relent until late in the weekend.

Threat level: In the coming days, 40 million are likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100 degrees.

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Lordstown Motors: A tale of hubris, political pandering and regulatory failure

Lordstown Motors is the quintessential business fiasco. Equal parts hubris, political pandering and regulatory failure.

Why it matters: There's no indication that anyone will learn their lesson, except perhaps for some random retail investors who didn't diversify.

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GM boosts investment in electric, autonomous vehicles by $8 billion

General Motors plans to boost its cumulative investment in electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion from 2020-2025, a significant jump from a $27 billion target.

Driving the news: GM said this morning that the initiative will include building two new battery cell manufacturing plants in addition to the two already under construction in Tennessee and Ohio.

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