Show an ad over header. AMP

6 takeaways from House Democrats' 547-page climate change wishlist

House Democratshave released a 547-page template-slash-wish-list that could chart a path for the party to follow if they regain control of the Senate and the White House in this year's election.

The big picture: The plan from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis calls for net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050, net-zero power-sector emissions by 2040, and a zero-emissions requirement for 100% of light-duty vehicle sales by 2035, among other targets.


Here are six takeaways from the long list of regulatory and legislative ideas...

1. George Floyd's influence. The plan — which cites Floyd's killing on the first page — strongly emphasizes the nexus between pollution and racial inequalities, something long on the policy radar but now receiving even greater attention.

  • Provisions include steering a "significant" amount of clean energy investments to "environmental justice communities" and would require that proposed rules and laws be analyzed for their impact on "frontline communities."

2. COVID-19's influence. The pandemic is cited dozens of times for a bunch of reasons. It embraces the idea that climate-friendly energy investments should be part of the economic response.

  • Elsewhere, the discussion of fortifying infrastructure and economic sectors — including health care — against extreme weather cites the pandemic as an example of what happens when the health care system is unprepared.

3. Carbon pricing is present but de-emphasized. As Axios Generate readers know, pricing has become far less central to Democrats' plans, but it's not absent.

  • The section on it, which does not lay out a specific pricing system, notes the overall concept is "only one tool to complement a suite of policies to achieve deep pollution reductions and strengthen community resilience to climate impacts."
  • But the plan includes a suite of other tools, such as a "Clean Energy Standard" for power and a "Low Carbon Fuel Standard" for transportation.

4. There are nods toward the Green New Deal. The plan stops short of the sweeping template popular among activists on the party's left flank (some of whom, by the way, want something even more aggressive than the ambitious 2050 net-zero timeline).

  • You'll find ideas like reviving the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (h/t Tampa Bay Times), and support for several of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's bills, notably the "Green New Deal for Public Housing Act" she crafted with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
  • But that said, there's no universal health care or overarching job guarantee as suggested in the GND.
  • And, the committee released a list of dozens of supportive statements from green groups and experts, but the Bernie- and AOC-aligned Sunrise Movement isn't among them.
  • Speaking of Sunrise, the group tells me this morning that they're happy the plan "reflect[s] much of the vision for a Green New Deal," but also said, "it still needs to go further to match the full scale of the crisis."

5. Carbon removal gets some love. There's a sizable section on ways to speed up development and deployment of negative emissions tech and methods like direct air capture, bioenergy with carbon capture and carbon mineralization.

6. Nuclear power and carbon capture stay in the mix.This is among the things that could spur tensions on the left. Nuclear energy and fossil fuels with CO2 capture are eligible technologies under the proposed national clean energy standard.

The bottom line: There's a reason why the report is kind of endless — if a political window to move climate legislation opens, it's likely to be small and stay open briefly, so lawmakers need off-the-shelf ideas rather than starting from scratch.

Most Senate Republicans join Rand Paul effort to dismiss Trump's 2nd impeachment trial

Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, joined Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday in an effort to dismiss former President Trump's second impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The vote serves as a precursor to how senators will approach next month's impeachment trial. The House impeached Trump for a second time for "incitement of insurrection" following events from Jan 6. when a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

Keep reading... Show less

Texas judge temporarily halts Biden's 100-day deportation freeze

A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked the Biden administration's 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants.

Why it matters: Biden has set an ambitious immigration agenda, but could face pushback from the courts.

Keep reading... Show less

Reddit is running Wall Street

Wall Street is locked in a battle of will between professional investors who live in Greenwich and amateur investors who congregate on Reddit. So far, the amateurs are winning, judging by increases in their chosen stocks, like GameStop and Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what's really happening, the mechanics of stock "shorting" and what it means for the markets' future, with Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon.

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden signs executive order ending new contracts with private prisons

President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the federal government's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

Keep reading... Show less

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.

Keep reading... Show less

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post editor Marty Baron retires

Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post and recipient of multiple Pulitzer Prizes over the course of his career, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

Why it matters, via Axios' Sara Fischer:Baron spearheaded Spotlight, the Boston Globe's investigation into attempts by the Catholic Church to cover-up sexual abuse, and oversaw the Post's editorial transformation under Amazon founder Jeff Bezos — turning it from a regional paper into a national brand.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories