4. Senate duo forms new climate group
Two senators are launching a new ad-hoc group aimed at fostering bipartisan cooperation on climate change.
Driving the news: Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Mike Braun are launching a Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, per multiple reports. The Washington Examiner writes that Republican Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will join the effort.
The big picture: Coons, in remarks to NBC News, laid out some areas of potential cooperation. "Bipartisan ideas already exist — from improving energy efficiency and investing in R&D to supporting energy security and workforce development," he said.
Quick take: The formation comes on the heels of a fresh reminder that while modest agreements may be possible, Democrats face massive hurdles if they seek to advance sweeping legislation to sharply cut emissions.
- Last week Democrats fell far short in their effort to thwart EPA's decision to scrap Obama-era carbon emissions regulations for power plants — a vote that saw three conservative Democrats vote with the GOP.
What they're saying: "The Democratic defections underscore our view that even if Democrats take the Senate and White House in 2020, the need for moderate support within their caucus will force them to temper their most aggressive environmental policy ambitions to have any chance at passage," Rapidan Energy Group said in a note last week.