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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Over 75 companies including big names like General Motors, Apple, Unilever and eBay are urging lawmakers to require that power companies supply sharply rising amounts of zero-carbon electricity.

Why it matters: A new open letter shows an effort to keep a proposed "clean energy standard" (CES) in the mix on Capitol Hill despite huge political hurdles.

What they're saying: "A federal clean electricity standard should achieve 80 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030 on the pathway to 100% clean power by 2035," the letter states.

The effort is organized by the sustainable investment advocacy group Ceres, the Environmental Defense Fund and others.

What we're watching: Whether last month's extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest will influence politics at all.

"Millions of Americans are already feeling the impacts of climate change. From recent extreme weather to deadly wildfires and record-breaking hurricanes, the human and economic losses are profound," it states.

Catch up fast: The White House last week said it wants a CES in the package of energy, health and child care measures Democrats hope to move in a filibuster-proof "reconciliation" package.

  • But backers face big challenges corralling votes and need to craft a CES compliant with reconciliation, which is meant for spending and revenue measures, not regulatory policy.

Go deeper: Can Biden's signature climate policy clear Senate rules? (Washington Examiner)

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 13, 2021 - Energy & Environment

A tough reality check ahead of COP26

Data: IEA; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

A major new report provides a stark warning ahead of the UN climate summit: Yes, clean-tech deployment is really surging, but energy systems are still transforming far too slowly to rein in global warming.

Driving the news: The International Energy Agency is out with its big annual World Energy Outlook, a 386-page trove of data and analysis.

1 hour ago - World

Iran agrees to resume Vienna nuclear talks in November

Ali Bagheri (R) with Enrique Mora in Tehran on Oct. 14. Photo: Iranian Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

Iran's new chief nuclear negotiator said following a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday that Iran would resume negotiations in Vienna before the end of November, with the exact date to be set next week.

Why it matters: The Vienna talks have been frozen since Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, was elected in June. This is the most direct commitment from Raisi's government to return to the negotiating table.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).