Sen. John Barrasso. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

California Assemblyman Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) is proposing a new Enhanced Clean Energy Standard (CES) as the next step in curbing carbon emissions in California.

The big picture: Mayes' bill would create an enforceable 80% CES that's "technology neutral," meaning that utility companies would be required to limit greenhouse gas emissions, but would be free to choose the technology with which to do so. This approach has been popular among conservatives recently, and may please progressive climate activists, too.

How it works: The legislation sets a zero-emissions standard, but doesn't specify any preferred energy technology. This tech-neutral approach would help control costs of de-carbonization by allowing businesses to choose any qualifying zero-emissions energy source based on affordability and business needs. That leaves the door open for non-renewable, zero-emissions sources to qualify for compliance plans, including nuclear, hydro, carbon capture and market entry for yet-to-be-discovered energy technology.

Conservatives have been advocating for this tech-neutral concept in a number of ways:

Between the lines: Republicans are generally more comfortable with climate action when policies go beyond wind and solar solutions to include all energy and technology options for minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. Tech-neutral advocates hope that preserving as much freedom of choice as possible will make climate change legislation both economically practical and environmentally effective.

  • This approach can also accelerate affordable decarbonization because it allows all existing zero-emissions energy technology to compete.

The bottom line: Mayes’ bill may be the best chance for electric utility companies and climate change advocates to cooperate on meeting California’s climate goals: Currently, there is a binding requirement for 60% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 and a non-enforceable goal of 100% of electricity from zero-emissions sources by 2045. Mayes' bill would increase the enforceable zero-emissions target to 80% by 2038.

Sarah E. Hunt is the co-founder and CEO of Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy.

Go deeper

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.