Climate change policy

Republican senator proposes 10-point plan to combat climate change

Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee
Photo: Kris Connor/Getty Images

Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said on the Senate floor Monday that he believes climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are a major cause — but that Democrats' "Green New Deal" is "so far out in left field that no one is going to take it seriously."

Why it matters: Alexander proposed a plan of his own called "The New Manhattan Project for Clean Energy," which argues that the United States' "extraordinary capacity for basic research" should be used to combat "10 Grand Challenges" in the next five years. Alexander said that meeting these challenges "would create breakthroughs in advanced  nuclear reactors, natural gas, carbon capture, better batteries, greener buildings, electric vehicles, cheaper solar and fusion."

Column / Harder Line

Washington’s empty messaging fight over the Green New Deal

Illustration of congress with empty speech bubbles
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Politicians and activists aren’t letting facts or details get in the way of a political messaging fight over climate change.

Why it matters: Washington isn’t known for nuance these days, but the lack of substance in the debate over the Green New Deal is extraordinary. What will it really cost? Will it hurt poor people or help them? There's little substance to tell us — but that won't stop everyone from fighting about it anyway.

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