Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Axios on your phone

Get breaking news and scoops on the go with the Axios app.

Download for free.

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Democrats have released a 547-page template-slash-wish-list that could chart a path for the party to follow if they regain control of the Senate and the White House in this year's election.

The big picture: The plan from the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis calls for net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050, net-zero power-sector emissions by 2040, and a zero-emissions requirement for 100% of light-duty vehicle sales by 2035, among other targets.

Here are six takeaways from the long list of regulatory and legislative ideas...

1. George Floyd's influence. The plan — which cites Floyd's killing on the first page — strongly emphasizes the nexus between pollution and racial inequalities, something long on the policy radar but now receiving even greater attention.

  • Provisions include steering a "significant" amount of clean energy investments to "environmental justice communities" and would require that proposed rules and laws be analyzed for their impact on "frontline communities."

2. COVID-19's influence. The pandemic is cited dozens of times for a bunch of reasons. It embraces the idea that climate-friendly energy investments should be part of the economic response.

  • Elsewhere, the discussion of fortifying infrastructure and economic sectors — including health care — against extreme weather cites the pandemic as an example of what happens when the health care system is unprepared.

3. Carbon pricing is present but de-emphasized. As Axios Generate readers know, pricing has become far less central to Democrats' plans, but it's not absent.

  • The section on it, which does not lay out a specific pricing system, notes the overall concept is "only one tool to complement a suite of policies to achieve deep pollution reductions and strengthen community resilience to climate impacts."
  • But the plan includes a suite of other tools, such as a "Clean Energy Standard" for power and a "Low Carbon Fuel Standard" for transportation.

4. There are nods toward the Green New Deal. The plan stops short of the sweeping template popular among activists on the party's left flank (some of whom, by the way, want something even more aggressive than the ambitious 2050 net-zero timeline).

  • You'll find ideas like reviving the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (h/t Tampa Bay Times), and support for several of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's bills, notably the "Green New Deal for Public Housing Act" she crafted with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
  • But that said, there's no universal health care or overarching job guarantee as suggested in the GND.
  • And, the committee released a list of dozens of supportive statements from green groups and experts, but the Bernie- and AOC-aligned Sunrise Movement isn't among them.
  • Speaking of Sunrise, the group tells me this morning that they're happy the plan "reflect[s] much of the vision for a Green New Deal," but also said, "it still needs to go further to match the full scale of the crisis."

5. Carbon removal gets some love. There's a sizable section on ways to speed up development and deployment of negative emissions tech and methods like direct air capture, bioenergy with carbon capture and carbon mineralization.

6. Nuclear power and carbon capture stay in the mix.This is among the things that could spur tensions on the left. Nuclear energy and fossil fuels with CO2 capture are eligible technologies under the proposed national clean energy standard.

The bottom line: There's a reason why the report is kind of endless — if a political window to move climate legislation opens, it's likely to be small and stay open briefly, so lawmakers need off-the-shelf ideas rather than starting from scratch.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 20, 2020 - Energy & Environment

The U.S.-China climate rupture

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Well that, as Ron Burgundy would say, escalated quickly. China's foreign ministry is accusing the Trump administration of "major retrogression" on climate and being an environmental "troublemaker."

Why it matters: China's unusual statement Monday widens the rupture between the world's largest carbon emitters as global climate efforts are flagging and the pandemic's effect on emissions is too small to be consequential in the long term.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse under scrutiny for elite club affiliations

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in February. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Image

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Wednesday that he is a member of an exclusive Rhode Island sailing club that lacks diversity.

Why it matters: Whitehouse has repeatedly spoken out against systemic racism and come under scrutiny this week for his family's affiliation with elite clubs. This is the second such club accused of lacking diversity that the senator has been linked to in recent days

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.