House Democrats' vague net-zero carbon emissions proposal
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Top House Democrats are taking a page from the Green New Deal playbook by offering a sweeping proposal that’s aimed at building momentum — but leaves tough choices for later.
Driving the news: Thursday, over 150 House Democrats floated legislation aimed at bringing the country to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- Rep. Donald McEachin's bill is co-sponsored by chairs and senior members of several committees, including leaders on Energy and Commerce, and Transportation and Infrastructure.
Why it matters: The bill has no chance in the current Senate and under President Trump. But the choreographed rollout is a sign of organizing on the topic.
- I got a burst of supportive press releases from establishment green groups — like the Center for American Progress and League of Conservation Voters — as the bill was unveiled.
- And the backing and the co-sponsorship of various committee leaders very likely signals an effort blessed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, though her aides did not respond to an inquiry.
How it works: The plan requires every federal agency to craft plans — which can include regulations, incentives and more — that are aimed at getting the country to the net-zero goal.
- It also envisions agencies letting Congress know of additional powers they may need.
But, but, but: It leaves a lot of policy details be sorted out later, to say the least.
- The sweeping bill doesn't wade into any policy specifics or thorny questions — such as the role of nuclear power and carbon capture tech — where the left isn't united.
What's next: Rep. Paul Tonko, a senior Energy and Commerce Committee member, tells The Washington Examiner that the bill is a framework for more detailed legislation that he and others are working on.