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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New research from the Rhodium Group consultancy finds that extension and broadening of federal tax incentives for climate-friendly energy and transportation could yield substantial carbon emissions cuts.

Why it matters: As Rhodium points out, big climate legislation isn't on the menu right now. But they argue that there's at least some political opening in this Congress for agreement on legislation around federal tax credits for renewable power, storage, nuclear energy, EVs and more.

What they found: "Extending and expanding tax credits through 2025 for zero-emitting generation including wind, solar or nuclear could achieve reductions of up to 125 million tons compared to current policy in 2025," the note states.

  • This could meet one-fourth of the "gap" between projected U.S. emissions under current policy and the U.S. pledge under the Paris agreement, it finds.
  • That pledge, offered under then-President Obama, calls for reducing U.S. emissions by 26%–28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
  • And extending and broadening separate credits for EVs and carbon capture could yield even more cuts than just boosting power generation incentives.

Read the note

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.