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A slew of states and electricity companies are committing to aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a trend underway since President Trump took office.

Expand chart
Data: Clean Air Task Force; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Why it matters: These actions show that substantive efforts — not just rhetoric — are underway across America in the face of Trump's rollback of climate policy at the federal level.

Between the lines: The actions over the past year signal a subtle, but significant shift away from policies promoting just renewable energy — like wind and solar — toward those that target emissions reductions no matter the technology. This brings into consideration other non-renewable but still clean-burning technologies like nuclear power.

“We’re now focusing on what actually matters, which is the atmosphere, and not the technology pathway, which people have been focused on.”
— Armond Cohen, executive director, Clean Air Task Force

By the numbers:

  • Since last fall, 5 states have enacted standards mandating 100% carbon-free electricity within the coming decades, according to new data compiled by Clean Air Task Force, an environmental group.
  • 4 additional states are actively debating similar measures.
  • More than 20 utilities have committed to carbon reductions of at least 80%, most of which have come since Trump was elected.
  • Added up, these moves represent nearly 40% of U.S. electricity sales and almost a third of national utility carbon dioxide emissions.

But, but, but: These policies only target the electricity sector, which emits the second-most greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., after transportation. Carbon emissions in the electricity sector also went back up in 2018, after a few years of declining.

What to watch: Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is poised to introduce a clean electricity standard as soon as Wednesday, according to multiple sources tracking the policy. A spokesperson for her office says the senator is "still hoping to introduce [the bill] soon."

  • Under the bill, America's electricity could reach around 90% carbon-free by 2050, according to multiple sources familiar with the proposal. Right now, the breakdown is more than 60% coal and natural gas.
  • No Republicans are expected to sign on, at least initially.

Go deeper: Renewable energy mandates have not sparked that much new renewable energy

Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - World

2 Americans accused of helping Ghosn escape in Japanese custody

Former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn during a news conference in Jounieh, Lebanon, last September. Photo: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two Americans accused of helping former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in a box in 2019 were taken into Japanese custody after arriving at an airport near Tokyo Tuesday, per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The extradition of Michael Taylor, 60, a private security specialist and former Green Beret, and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, ends a months-long fight to remain in the U.S.

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.