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Giphy

The great thing about the endless speculation on carbon taxes is that everyone is right. They're alive and dead at the same time, which brings us to...

The latest: The Washington Post broke a big story yesterday with a report that the White House is weighing a carbon tax and a value-added tax as officials search for revenue in wider tax code overhaul plans.

The fallout: That set off a ton of follow-up stories, but the White House quickly tried to settle things down. "As of now, neither a carbon tax nor a VAT are under consideration," deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said Tuesday afternoon.

  • This was the second time in the last few weeks that the White House has sought to put the kibosh on the idea that a carbon tax is under serious consideration.

Our thought bubble: The odds of a carbon tax gaining political traction among Republicans are vanishingly low, and even that is probably optimistic. But...

  • The "as of now" part of the White House statement will keep hope alive for advocates until tax reform talks make substantive progress and Republicans start to coalesce around revenue-raisers. That's especially true because House Speaker Paul Ryan's border adjustment tax (BAT) plan faces gigantic hurdles.
  • "Until big dogs in the Senate and at White House lay down a marker, the chatter will continue," one fossil fuel lobbyist emailed, adding: "Once BAT is taken off the table by Ryan/Brady, then the fun really begins on tax reform. And my guess is that this swirl continues past Easter recess into early May."

Not giving up: A pro-carbon tax group led by former GOP officials including James Baker is boosting its staff.

  • Politico reports that the Climate Leadership Council has brought on David Bailey formerly of Exxon Mobil as research director and Greg Bertelsen from the National Association of Manufacturers to oversee outreach to business groups on the plan. The council's proposal would tax emissions, return the money to the public, and scuttle climate regulations.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
7 mins ago - Technology

With Pixel 6, Google's phone finally stands out

Photo courtesy of Google

While Google has been making its own Pixel phones for years, the Pixel 6 marks a turning point, and not just because the company has shifted to using its own Tensor processor to power the device.

Why it matters: Google has invested a great deal in its hardware operations, but it has yet to capture a significant share of the market.

43 mins ago - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies, to administer the shots.

51 mins ago - Sports

Where it stands: Weed policies by U.S. sports league

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With public support for marijuana legalization nearing unanimity, and more athletes using cannabis to treat pain, the four major U.S. sports leagues continue to reduce restrictions and punishments.

Driving the news: NBA players won't be subject to random marijuana testing this season, an extension of an agreement between the league and its players' union that began ahead of the 2020 Orlando restart.