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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Biden is expected to show his cards this week when it comes to energy and climate provisions he'll ask Congress to include in a big-dollar infrastructure package.

Why it matters: Biden campaigned on major investments in zero-carbon power, electric vehicle charging, climate-resilient infrastructure and more.

Chances to move a huge package like this come around exceedingly rarely, and specifics have been absent so far.

What's next: His speech in Pittsburgh on Wednesday — and other info the White House may reveal — should provide more clarity on what he wants in the wider infrastructure proposal expected to be well north of a trillion dollars.

Needless to say, we'll have way more later in the week, and here's a few things we're watching...

The pitch: Biden is expected to promote the plan as a major jobs package, but a note from the research firm ClearView Energy Partners said it could also be part of a wider message on competition with China.

  • It notes that amid concerns about inflation and with the pandemic receding, the plan may be positioned partly as "an industrial policy by which the U.S. might counter and contain a rising China."

The specifics: There's intense interest among energy lobbyists of various stripes, activists and others to see a huge array of provisions included, and not everyone will come away happy.

  • To take just one example, there's a push to create new tax incentives for battery storage projects.

The strategy: It's not yet clear how much Biden and Democrats will seek to move through budget reconciliation (the filibuster-proof process that constrains what can be included), or whether there's an opening for some bipartisan dealmaking.

The lobbying and advocacy: The upcoming plan is the biggest opening for a sweeping climate and clean energy package in a decade.

  • Axios' Hans Nichols reports that progressives are trying to sell the initiative with new cable TV ads arguing clean energy projects will immediately create thousands of jobs.
  • And Axios' Andrew Freedman, in the same story, noted the stakes of that and other advocacy efforts that will surround the bill.
  • There may be resistance to making the infrastructure bills too climate-heavy unless the public views clean energy spending as a win/win for jobs and the environment, Andrew notes.

Go deeper: Economists bullish on Biden's $3 trillion infrastructure plan

Go deeper

Mar 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Progressives try to sell climate spending with jobs pitch

John Podesta. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Progressives are trying to sell President Biden's infrastructure initiative with new cable TV ads arguing clean energy projects will immediately create thousands of jobs.

Why it matters: White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested Sunday that Biden will split his potential $3 trillion package in two — investments in infrastructure, followed by billions more for the “caregiving economy.” The first political fight may be over what qualifies as infrastructure.

Scoop: Moderate Democrats buck Biden tax hikes

Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Biden's plan to pay for his coming infrastructure package with big tax hikes already is meeting some resistance from moderate Democrats, a stumbling block for his progressive ambitions.

Why it matters: If this discomfort turns to outright opposition in the House and Senate, Biden will face a complicated path to cover more than $3 trillion he is expected to seek, in multiple proposals, for infrastructure as well as social welfare.

Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free

Photo: Ken Cedeno/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Biden administration will announce Wednesday that 400 million non-surgical N95 masks will be made available to the public for free at thousands of "convenient locations" across the U.S.

Why it matters: This is the largest deployment of personal protective equipment in U.S. history, according to a White House official. The masks are slated to be available at numerous local pharmacies.