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Photo: Axios

Bipartisan cooperation on timely climate legislation is still possible in a deeply divided Washington, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said during an Axios event on Friday.

Why it matters: President Biden's American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion infrastructure plan unveiled in March, contains multiple provisions meant to slow the growing climate crisis, though many Republicans have hammered the legislation as a "far left wish list."

  • Senate Republicans also released a $568 billion counterproposal in April that is significantly narrower than anything congressional Democrats or the White House would agree to, but it serves as a marker for what Republicans want out of a potential bipartisan deal.
  • The parts of Biden's bill that Republicans largely consider a "progressive wishlist," however, include provisions meant to tackle climate change and promote racial equality, per Axios' Alayna Treene.

What he's saying: Coons said that climate change denialism among Republicans in the chamber has significantly decreased over the years, and certain GOP senators now seem more open to working on climate-related legislation.

  • As an example of bipartisanship climate change policy, Coons pointed to the Financing Our Energy Future Act, which he has worked on with Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).
  • "It takes an obscure capital formation tool ... and makes it available to renewables," Coons said. "It actually would be one of the biggest new capital access opportunities for renewables in our tax code in a long time because it would be permanent."
  • The bill passed the House in the last Congress, and Coons said Friday he's confident it will pass during the 117th Congress.
  • Coons added that he's worked with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on the SCALE Act, which if passed would encourage the development of carbon capture and storage infrastructure to help reduce CO2 emissions.

The big picture: Biden's American Jobs Plan includes $621 billion for transportation-related programs to encourage mass transit and widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

  • It also contains investments in high-voltage transmission lines and climate-related research and demonstration projects, as well as tax credits for renewable power and carbon capture projects.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Schumer's high-stakes climate play

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's just over two months until a pivotal United Nations climate summit, and if Capitol Hill's importance to the equation wasn't already clear, it sure is now.

Catch up fast: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer released an analysis showing the Democrats-only reconciliation plan — and to a much lesser degree the bipartisan infrastructure deal — would essentially put the U.S. on track to meet President Biden's pledge under the Paris Agreement.

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Aug 26, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Iowa ethanol advocates' angst over Biden's electric vehicle push

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

President Joe Biden's push for more Americans to use electric vehicles is creating angst amongst some Iowa ethanol advocates who argue the single-track goal could come at environmental and economic costs.

Why it matters: Electric vehicles create more competition at the gas pump, potentially hurting Iowa farmers' pockets who rely on corn and ethanol sales.

4 mins ago - World

U.S. envoy to visit Sudan as "most dangerous" crisis intensifies

The sit-in in Khartoum. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty

U.S. envoy for the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman will visit Khartoum this week amid what Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has called the “worst and most dangerous" crisis of Sudan’s transition to democracy, two sources with direct knowledge tell Axios.

Driving the news: Roughly 2,000-3,000 people had joined a sit-in in Khartoum as of this afternoon, per Reuters, after protesters massed over the weekend to call on the military to bring down the government. The protests came just four weeks after a failed military coup.