My Axios colleague Ben Geman reports...
Heating up: The bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus has added Republican Rep. Ed Royce of California, who is chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, according to activists tracking membership of the group.
The addition of Royce and Democratic Rep. Derek Kilmer of Washington brings the caucus' membership to 52, equally divided between the parties, the Citizens' Climate Lobby said Wednesday.
Why it matters: The addition of a powerful Republican adds weight to the group led by GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo and Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch. The growth of the caucus is a rare bright spot for advocates seeking more GOP interest in addressing global warming. For instance, former VP Al Gore noted the group's ongoing expansion in an interview on the podcast from Pod Save America that aired July 29.
Yes, but: The group has steered clear of taking positions in thorny climate policy battles. It has not advocated for measures that many Democrats and activists call crucial for deeply cutting emissions, such as regulation of coal-fired power plants and imposing a price on carbon.
What's (possibly) next: Former Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton told Axios recently that he's weighing whether to join the group.