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Jay Inslee. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

2020 Democratic White House hopeful Jay Inslee unveiled plans Monday aimed at weaning the U.S. off of reliance on coal, oil and gas.

Why it matters: The mix of legislative and executive proposals to restrict fossil fuel development comes just ahead of this week's first debate — and while the Washington governor is very low in the polls, his climate-focused campaign has raised the topic's profile in the race.

How it works: A few pillars of the 27-page "Freedom from fossil fuels" plan...

  • Ending tax breaks and other incentives for petroleum and coal companies.
  • Ending new federal fossil fuel leasing, taking steps to curb development on non-federal lands, and imposing a national ban on hydraulic fracturing.
  • Re-imposing a ban on crude oil exports and restricting other fossil fuel exports.
  • Adding some ideas for helping industry workers transition, including a “G.I. Bill for Energy Workers.”

The intrigue: The plan calls for legislation to impose a "climate pollution fee" — it's not clear how high — on various industries that would cover carbon dioxide, methane and other gases.

Quick take: That part of the plan encapsulates where much of the left (including GND backers) stands on carbon pricing these days.

  • They want it, but it's not the tip of the spear in plans that emphasize massive public investments, tough mandates and other steps.
  • Pricing isn't a "silver bullet," but it's an "effective tool for both ensuring that polluters pay and for generating new revenue to address the harms caused by those emissions," the plan states.

The big picture: Inslee's campaign said the overall proposal is part of his goal to cut U.S. emissions in half by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2045. Per the plan:

"These climate pollution reduction goals simply cannot be achieved unless America as a nation is prepared to take on the greatest and most powerful special interests that are holding back our clean energy future: fossil fuel corporations."

But, but, but: This is a standing caveat with all these plans, but anything that needs Congress would be a super-heavy lift.

Go deeper: Jay Inslee unveils his energy plan

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.