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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A sweeping energy bill boosting federal support for everything from renewable energy to cybersecurity may get a vote as soon as next week.

Driving the news: The bipartisan leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), introduced the American Energy Innovation Act yesterday.

  • The legislation, running 555 pages, compiles some 50 separate measures the committee has debated and passed last year.

One level deeper:

  • Most of the bill’s components are narrow changes to existing policy or other government programs. Taken in aggregate though, Manchin calls it a “down payment” on technologies cutting emissions.
  • It does not include an overall target to reduce emissions or any economy-wide mechanism to affect emissions, such as a carbon price or a mandate.
  • Read the bill itself, a short summary and a longer summary.

Where it stands: The bill drops as politicians in Washington and on the campaign trail debate how aggressively the U.S. government should tackle climate change. Lawmakers are engaging in what has become a perennial debate about whether to try to go big or go small(er) with climate and energy policy.

  • To date, Washington has gone small(er), and this bill doubles down on that path, by expanding current government policies and pushing narrow measures, like subsidies and public-private partnerships.
  • A growing chorus of lawmakers, corporations and all Democratic presidential candidates want Washington to go bigger by creating new and economy-wide policies taking direct aim at emissions, such as a clean energy standard or a carbon tax.

What they’re saying: Response to the bill was mixed, reflecting Washington’s overall divisions on the matter.

  • The National Mining Association and The Nature Conservancy both issued positive statements about the measure, even though the latter said more needed to be done.
  • Other environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club, outright opposed it. “This bill includes a number of small-bore proposals, some productive and some detrimental,” said Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club’s legislative director.

What’s next: The full Senate may vote on it as soon as next week.

Go deeper: As Congress debates climate change policy, carbon price gets no love

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.