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Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is laying out what it wants to see in Democrats' brewing push to mandate escalating amounts of zero-carbon electricity.

Why it matters: The K Street powerhouse is closer to Republicans, but its views could influence some moderate Democrats, so that's important given Democrats' razor-thin Capitol Hill margins.

Driving the news: The Chamber explained its posture on a "clean energy standard" (CES) in a letter to lawmakers that comes as the White House and Congress hope to move a CES in a reconciliation package.

  • One noteworthy part: It wants "partial credit for electricity generation resources that feature a reduced (rather than zero) carbon footprint."
  • That means, among other things, natural gas, which emits far less CO2 when burned than coal.

Yes, but: "This conflicts with the path sought by Democrats working on a CES such as Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota, who has said natural gas should only be credited if plants are equipped with carbon capture technologies," notes the Washington Examiner, which first reported on the letter.

Elsewhere, the Chamber letter says the CES should "insulate" existing power plants from "conflicting" regulations and provide a "realistic" timeframe for emissions cuts.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 21, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Coal's global staying power

Expand chart
Adapted from BloombergNEF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Environment ministers from the G20 face a stark reality as they gather this week in Italy: Coal is proving quite resilient despite steep declines in some economies.

Why it matters: Burning coal emits more CO2 than any other fuel source.

Biden calls on Congress to extend eviction moratorium as deadline looms

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

President Biden called on Congress on Thursday to extend the CDC's national eviction moratorium due to the threat of the Delta variant, after the Supreme Court ruled that the administration couldn't extend it past July 31 without specific legislation.

Why it matters: Millions of tenants across the country face the threat of eviction in the coming days. The moratorium was first implemented in September 2020 and extended several times to prevent a wave of evictions caused by pandemic-related economic decline.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The mental health deal boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.

By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.