Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A bipartisan House duo is floating a new plan that's both a throwback idea and a sign of today's climate politics.

Driving the news: Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) want to require utilities to greatly cut carbon emissions by mid-century.

  • They laid out the broad strokes of their planned bill in a USA Today op-ed Thursday and through information circulated to reporters.

How it works: It would create a "clean energy standard" requiring an 80% cut in power sector emissions by 2050 while providing the industry all kinds of leeway to determine how to get there.

  • The mandate would not begin for up to 10 years, to be preceded by "public and private investments in clean energy innovation and infrastructure development."
  • It would also inoculate the industry from Clean Air Act carbon emissions regulations during the 10-year ramp-up.

Why it matters: The plan says a lot about the state of climate politics. It signals the GOP shift away from rejecting or at least challenging consensus climate science.

  • McKinley was in that camp years ago but the new op-ed calls climate change the "greatest environmental and energy challenge of our time."

The big picture: It's far less aggressive than what senior Capitol Hill Democrats and the party's White House hopefuls are promoting.

  • "The plan is modest, compared to other Democratic proposals aiming to reach net-zero emissions by midcentury across the entire economy, and many states that have imposed immediate clean electricity standards without delay," the Washington Examiner notes.

Between the lines: Ideas for a federal "clean energy standard" of some sort have been rattling around for a decade.

  • I first started noticing them when Republicans floated them as an alternative to Democratic calls for renewables-specific mandates, and then-President Obama floated his own version in 2011.

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239 scientists call on WHO to recognize coronavirus as airborne

People walk at the boardwalk in Venice Beach. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries is calling for the World Health Organization to revise its recommendations to account for airborne transmission as a significant factor in how the coronavirus spreads, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The WHO has said the virus mainly spreads via large respiratory droplets that fall to the ground once they've been discharged in coughs and sneezes. But the scientists say evidence shows the virus can spread from smaller particles that linger in air indoors.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,294,859 — Total deaths: 531,419 — Total recoveries — 6,078,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protesters toss Columbus statue into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Piazza in Little Italy on April 9, 2015 in Baltimore. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Protesters in Baltimore on Saturday toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and tossed it into the city's Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest monument toppled by demonstrators during the protests against racism and police brutality. Statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests.