Jun 5, 2019

Biden and Warren want new federal agencies to fight climate change

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Photos: Miikka Skaffari/Getty Images for MoveOn and Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Frontrunner Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren's respective plans to combat climate change, which were unveiled Tuesday, both call for creating new federal agencies.

Why it matters: The plans signal acknowledgment that the federal government's existing structures are imperfectly aligned to spur deep emissions cuts.

Where it stands: Warren's $2 trillion "green manufacturing" plan would form a National Institutes of Clean Energy. Biden wants to create a cross-agency Advanced Research Projects Agency for climate (ARPA-C).

There are other examples. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's platform, for instance, revives the idea of creating a federal Clean Energy Deployment Authority (or "green bank").

But, but, but: There are tradeoffs. Standing up new bureaucracies takes time and often congressional authorization.

  • There's also some controversy attached to Biden's plan, after his campaign "amended his climate policy plan hours after it was released Tuesday because a handful of passages did not credit some of the sources in the proposal," AP reports.

Go deeper: NYT's Brad Plumer tweeted helpful comparisons of the price tag of candidates' climate plans.

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This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World