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Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida officially introduced his legislation taxing carbon emissions Monday afternoon.

The bottom line: This bill is significant not because it has a chance at passing Congress soon (it doesn’t), but because it’s the first substantive Republican measure on the issue in nearly a decade. The bill’s existence will further fuel what has been for months a simmering policy and political fight over one of the most contentious ideas Washington has ever considered.

The details: The 71-page bill, H.R. 6463, eliminates the federal gasoline tax and creates a tax on carbon emissions. Curbelo has one official Republican co-sponsor, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, whose office didn't immediately return a request for comment.

The intrigue: In classic Washington style, Curbelo introduced his bill at an event at the National Press Club in downtown D.C., followed almost immediately by a competing event just a few feet away highlighting conservative opposition to the measure.

  • Curbelo’s press conference included influential, centrist environmental groups including the Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center.
  • The opposing event that took place after was hosted by Americans for Tax Reform and included conservative speakers who came out against the policy.

What we’re hearing: A lot of reaction is coming in, but not all of it is as essential to the debate as others. Here are a couple key ones.

  • An ExxonMobil spokesman said: “We appreciate Rep. Curbelo’s effort to help generate a constructive discussion on this important issue.” Exxon has said it supports a carbon tax for almost a decade now, but it didn’t explicitly endorse the bill. That isn’t particularly unusual; most companies and organizations didn’t explicitly endorse the bill today.
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council, an influential environmental group with congressional Democrats, said the bill fell short of what’s needed to address climate change.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
1 hour ago - Sports

European soccer is at war

Liverpool celebrating its 2019 Champions League victory. Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

2021's expected earnings blowout begins

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

2 hours ago - Science

NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

Ingenuity on the surface of Mars, filmed by NASA's Perseverance rover. Photo: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hovering the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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