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Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren is out with new plans to speed up offshore wind projects, expand marine sanctuaries, and bolster use of oceans to soak up carbon emissions.

Driving the news: Those are three pillars of the far wider "Blue New Deal" — a riff on the "Green New Deal" concept — on ocean policy that the Democratic White House hopeful unveiled Tuesday.

Why it matters: Politically, the plan's arrival follows Warren's recent slide in the polls after challenging Joe Biden for frontrunner status in the fall.

  • There's plenty of competition for the green mantle as Bernie Sanders, Warren's rival for progressive voters, touts his plans.
  • Billionaire climate advocates like Mike Bloomberg — who is at UN climate talks in Spain today — and Tom Steyer are spending heavily.

How it works, part 1: Energy-related provisions in Warren's plan include...

  • A vow to "streamline and fast-track permitting" for offshore wind, which Warren accuses President Trump of slow-walking even as developers seek to build major Atlantic Coast projects.
  • Calling on Congress to approve long-term extensions of renewable energy tax credits and provide more resources to the Interior Department's offshore energy branches.
  • Pledging to restore Obama-era bans on Arctic offshore drilling as part of her wider opposition to new offshore leases and phasing out existing offshore development.
  • A push to electrify shipping ports, which are hives of heavy-duty diesel vehicle traffic

How it works, part 2: On climate, Warren vows an executive order requiring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to bolster ocean carbon sequestration efforts.

  • "I will also direct NOAA to map and establish 'Blue Carbon Zones' in federal waters, so that we can identify, protect, and manage these highly productive areas."

Quick take: The plan blends Warren's jobs and economic justice messages into her environmental posture.

  • For instance, it says additional subsidies and tax benefits for large ocean renewable projects would be subject to "community benefits agreements" that "should include requirements for prevailing wages and collective bargaining rights."
  • And this line about getting offshore wind projects approved stood out: "The climate crisis is too urgent to let the ultra-wealthy complain about wind turbines getting in the way of their ocean views."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.