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Expand chart
Data: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; Chart: Axios Visuals

The consortium of Northeast and mid-Atlantic states that have a carbon pricing system for power plants is out with a new report that shows there the money raised is going.

Where it stands: States that belong to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which auctions pollution "allowances" under its cap-and-trade system, have steered a total of $2.4 billion into those areas since the program launched in 2009, the report shows.

Quick take: The report underscores how carbon pricing can raise substantial revenue for initiatives that help reduce emissions, even if the CO2 prices themselves are too low to directly cause changes in the power mix.

  • And that has arguably been the case with RGGI, which has seen fairly low prices at its pollution allowance auctions over the years.
  • Other forces, namely the rise of cheap natural gas and renewables' growth, have been key drivers of changes to the electricity mix and emissions cuts in RGGI states.

Go deeper: The semantics of carbon pricing ahead of 2020

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
27 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.