Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A bipartisan handful of House members are introducing carbon tax legislation today after first floating it late last year.

Why it matters: While it’s very unlikely to become law in at least the next few years, it’s nonetheless a marker for efforts to move national carbon pricing beyond the think tank and advocacy world where it’s been for a decade and back into Congress.

The details: Florida Democrat Ted Deutch unveiled the bill with a few other Democrats and one Republican. The bill would impose an initial $15-per-ton carbon "fee" on fossil fuel producers, processors and importers that rises $10 annually.

  • All the revenues are returned to the public.
  • The plan would remove some but not all greenhouse gas regulations.
  • Rep. Francis Rooney (R.-Fla.), is the only Republican co-sponsor as of now. GOP Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania had signed onto last year’s bill, but he isn’t (yet anyway) a co-sponsor of this bill. A request for comment to his office wasn't immediately returned.

The big picture: After a near decade’s absence in Washington, debate over big climate and energy policies are emerging in Washington as Democrats take control of the House and the presidential campaign heats up.

  • Bipartisan efforts are emerging on a carbon tax, while progressive Democrats are rallying around the vague-but-popular Green New Deal, that calls for 100% renewable electricity within a decade and several other big policies aimed at transforming the economy while cutting emissions. (It could include a price on carbon, but that isn't its central component.)

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The apocalypse scenario

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic lawyers are preparing to challenge any effort by President Trump to swap electors chosen by voters with electors selected by Republican-controlled legislatures. One state of particular concern: Pennsylvania, where the GOP controls the state house.

Why it matters: Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, together with a widely circulated article in The Atlantic about how bad the worst-case scenarios could get, is drawing new attention to the brutal fights that could jeopardize a final outcome.

Federal judge rules Trump administration can't end census early

Census workers outside Lincoln Center in New York. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled late Thursday that the Trump administration could not end the 2020 census a month early.

Why it matters: The decision states that an early end — on Sept. 30, instead of Oct. 31 — would likely produce inaccuracies and thus impact political representation and government funding around the country.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
2 hours ago - Health

Where bringing students back to school is most risky

Data: Coders Against COVID; Note: Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did not meet minimum testing thresholds for analysis. Values may not add to 100% due to rounding; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Schools in Southern and Midwestern states are most at risk of coronavirus transmission, according to an analysis by Coders Against COVID that uses risk indicators developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The big picture: Thankfully, schools have not yet become coronavirus hotspots, the Washington Post reported this week, and rates of infection are lower than in the surrounding communities. But that doesn't mean schools are in the clear, especially heading into winter.

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