Updated Aug 2, 2018

A new Democratic cap-and-trade bill

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.). Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko of New York is working on a cap-and-trade bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Axios has learned. Tonko’s measure is the third comprehensive climate-change measure to surface in the last couple of weeks in the House.

The bottom line: These bills are very unlikely to get broad support any time soon, and they offer competing ways to address climate change. But the mere introduction indicates a thawing of sorts after a decade of mostly dormant policy in this space on Capitol Hill.

Tonko is the top Democrat on the environment panel of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the topic.

  • The other two bills: a formerly introduced carbon tax bill by GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, and another carbon-pricing bill that Rep. Ted Deutch, a Democrat also from Florida, is working on with other Republicans, Deutch told Axios last week.

One level deeper: Second-quarter lobbying filings by Shell and BP reflect their engagement on these bills, particularly the Curbelo and Tonko measures.

  1. Tonko’s office confirmed he’s working on the bill and is soliciting input from stakeholders including companies, but a spokesman didn’t provide details. His bill creates a cap-and-trade system where companies buy and sell credits of carbon while staying below an overall emissions limit.
  2. Curbelo met with oil companies and other stakeholders before he introduced his bill last week, which would likely prompt increased disclosure on the matter in federally required filings. A BP spokesman confirmed that company's participation.
"Our advocacy has always been to educate, trying to build support for a federal carbon price ... It feels like there's a breeze, a slight breeze, and I don't know if it ever becomes a wind. Depends on what happens in the fall."
— Industry official involved in the debate

What's next: While not about climate change, the midterm elections could have a big impact on whether the issue gets closer to the front-burner next Congress if Democrats win control of the House.

Go deeper

In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 25 mins ago - World

Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

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.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 38 mins ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy