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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The National Wildlife Federation is sharing with lawmakers a tax credit proposal to help bring cleaner electricity to parts of the country that are currently powering with coal and natural gas.

Why it matters: With a divided government likely, any climate and energy policy is probably going to come in the form of relatively narrow spending proposals like this.

Driving the news: The proposal would give varying levels of tax credits to utilities depending how high carbon emissions are in the state's electricity, according to Shannon Heyck-Williams, the group's climate and energy policy director. The higher the emissions, the bigger the subsidy offered to generate cleaner electricity.

“We can’t address climate effectively and meet climate goals with large chunks of the country left out of this clean energy boom.”
— Shannon Heyck-Williams, National Wildlife Federation

How it works: States whose electricity grids already have a lot of cleaner electricity, like California and Washington State, would get a 10% tax credit. States with electricity heavily powered by coal and natural gas, such as many in the Midwest, could get up to a 45% tax credit.

  • If a new electricity plant emits less carbon dioxide than an average natural-gas plant, “then it qualifies for the tax credit,” says Heyck-Williams.
  • The proposal is similar to a bill sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), except with the additional layer that adjusts the tax credit level depending on how high emissions are in a state's electricity mix.

What they’re saying: The proposal could have bipartisan support.

  • Heyck-Williams says her initial conversations with congressional Republican offices have been positive and that conservatives prefer technology-neutral subsidies over tech-specific kinds.
  • Julian Brave NoiseCat, vice president of policy and strategy at the liberal Data for Progress, says he is “particularly interested” in this type of policy given the political limits of a (probable) Republican-controlled Senate.
  • “That’s probably the upper limits of our ambition, which pains me to say,” said NoiseCat, in a nod to his and other progressives’ preferences for more sweeping proposals like the Green New Deal.

Go deeper:

Subsidizing and innovating away climate change

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 26, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Central banks deepen their climate efforts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Climate change is rising higher on the radar for central banks on both sides of the Atlantic.

Driving the news: The Federal Reserve formed a panel aimed at boosting the central bank's understanding of climate's implications for "financial institutions, infrastructure, and markets," officials said Monday.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.