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Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke revealed an ambitious $5 trillion climate change proposal Monday, and the former Texas congressman is taking an aggressive and detailed stance to aim for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: This is O'Rourke's first major policy proposal, and it stakes out an aggressive position on tackling global warming through executive action and legislation. The plan is highly detailed and includes provisions related to making the country more resilient to extreme weather events.

  • It suggests that O'Rourke sees moving left on emissions as a way to attract younger and more progressive voters.
  • It's also a sign that he wants to compete directly for the climate candidate mantle with Sen. Bernie Sanders as well as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made climate the centerpiece of his long-shot run.

But, but, but: Several major elements would require new legislation on Capitol Hill, including its call for a "legally enforceable" standard for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The reliance on Capitol Hill for key elements heavily clouds its prospects due to widespread GOP resistance to aggressive emissions policies.

The big picture: Calling climate change the "greatest threat we face," the plan calls for steps such as an end to new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and requiring that federal permitting decisions "fully account for climate costs and community impacts." Its major pillars include:

  • Taking actions with executive power, including a commitment to stay in the Paris Agreement; toughen rules on power plants, auto mileage standards and methane emissions from oil-and-gas development.
  • The first bill sent to Congress would "launch a 10-year mobilization of $5 trillion directly leveraged by a fully paid-for $1.5 trillion investment."
  • It would be funded with revenues from changes to the tax code that would "ensure corporations and the wealthiest among us pay their fair share" and end current incentives for fossil fuel companies.
  • It also calls for "limited-duration, performance-focused" tax incentives to speed up deployment of climate-friendly tech.

Quick take: The plan is a mix of policy measures preferred by advocates of various stripes.

  • The policy measures range from huge investments in rapidly scaling up deployment of zero-carbon technologies to major new investment in R&D in many areas such as agriculture and industry.
  • The latter is a nod to advocates who say that despite mainstreaming of solar and other zero-carbon technologies, major new breakthroughs will be needed to achieve the steep emissions cuts needed to avoid high levels of warming.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about Beto O'Rourke

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.

Off the Rails

Episode 2: Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 2: Trump stops buying what his professional staff are telling him, and increasingly turns to radical voices telling him what he wants to hear. Read episode 1.

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.