Apr 29, 2019

Axios PM

1 big thing: Beto's first big plan
Beto in Yosemite National Park. Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Beto O'Rourke's first substantive policy plan is here, a $5 trillion proposal that aims for net-zero carbon emissions in the U.S. by 2050.

  • O'Rourke timed the announcement to his first visit to Yosemite National Park, which he called a "religious experience," per the AP.
  • "Driving in, there are no words that could express what I was seeing or the way that I was feeling. ... And then to learn about some of the challenges that Yosemite faces ... the composition of what we are seeing around us is changing literally before our eyes."

Why it matters: If plans are priorities, the hope and change candidate of 2020 has climate at the top of his list. (He'll also need to ward off Pete Buttigieg.)

  • "It's also a sign that he wants to compete directly for the climate candidate mantle with Sen. Bernie Sanders as well as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who has made climate the centerpiece of his long-shot run," Axios' Ben Geman writes.

The pillars of Beto's plan:

  1. Taking actions with executive power, including a commitment to stay in the Paris Agreement; toughen rules on power plants, auto mileage standards and methane emissions from oil-and-gas development.
  2. He'd ask Congress for "$1.5 trillion in direct federal funding, while seeking to incentivize an additional $3.5 trillion from states, private capital and other sources over 10 years to improve aging infrastructure nationwide and to take 'significant actions to defend communities...'" (NYT)
  3. Funded by increasing taxes on corporations and the rich, along with ending incentives for fossil fuel companies.
  4. Includes tax incentives that are "limited-duration" and "performance-focused" to speed up deployment of climate-friendly tech.

The bottom line: As the current frontrunner, the ball is now in Joe Biden's court.

Go deeper:

Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The moon rises behind One World Trade Center, as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey.

2. What you missed
  1. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared in a video released by the group's propaganda arm for the first time in 5 years, AP reports.
  2. The record measles outbreak across 22 states has reached a total of 704 cases. Go deeper.
  3. WeWork confidentially filed paperwork with federal regulators last December that suggests a public listing could be just around the corner, the latest in a string of 2019 "unicorn" IPOs.
  4. Spotify has reached 100 million paid subscribers worldwide, the most of any streaming music base.
  5. The former U.S. Special Representative for North Korea told CNN that he signed an agreement in 2017 to pay Kim Jong-un's regime $2 million for Otto Warmbier’s hospital care, a decision he believes was approved by President Trump.
3. 1 SNL thing

Photo: Kate McKinnon as Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

SNL fans, take note: It's "entirely possible [Kate] McKinnon’s sketches over the next few weeks could be her last as a full-time member of the 'SNL' cast," Variety reports.

  • "McKinnon ... is nearing the end of her contract with the show, according to two people familiar with the matter."
  • She has popularly played characters ranging from Hillary "Clinton to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani..."
  • "A decision on the matter may not come until just before the show launches its 45th season in the fall."

Dive in.