Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument

Overnight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument
© Greg Nash

WARREN GAINS WITH CLIMATE VOTERS: Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for coronavirus over two weeks last month | Democrats deny outreach to Trump since talks collapsed | California public health chief quits suddenly On The Money: Administration defends Trump executive orders | CBO reports skyrocketing deficit | Government pauses Kodak loan pending review Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE is beating her progressive 2020 contender Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges Trump's personality is as much a problem as his performance Sierra Club endorses Biden for president  MORE (I-Vt.) when it comes to winning the support of climate-focused voters, according to a new poll out Friday.

For voters who say a Democratic candidates' climate plans are "very important" in their choice, the Massachusetts senator gathered 20 percent support compared to 16 percent for Sanders. 

The results of the Morning Consult tracking poll for the Sierra Club show Warren gaining a lead in the issue among voters who care deeply about climate change. The last poll in late June showed Sanders with a four-point lead over Warren.

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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump says he is 'seriously' considering a capital gains tax cut Why Joe Biden is in trouble Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE remains the top option for climate focused voters with 30 percent of support, according to the latest poll. Previously Biden had 37 percent support.

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWhy a rising star is leaving Congress Inslee, GOP's Culp advance in Washington governor's race Governors call for Trump to extend funding for National Guard coronavirus response MORE, the Democratic candidate who has staked his platform largely on climate action, earned less than one percent of the votes in either poll.

The changing fortunes in the polls for Warren and Sanders come as the two candidates are dueling it out in the progressive lane. The Democratic candidates will hold their second debate next week.

Climate change is becoming an increasingly important issue for Democratic voters, will polls showing the issue ranking next to health care and the economy.

See the poll.

Read the story.

 

TGIF! And welcome to Overnight Energy, The Hill's roundup of the latest energy and environment news. 

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IT'S TAXING: Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are introducing competing bills that aim to put a tax on carbon.

The push to regulate greenhouse gas emissions come as both Democrats and Republicans face pressure from their constituents, and in some cases the fossil fuel industry itself, to regulate carbon emissions that lead to climate change.

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure MORE (D-Del.), Rep. Francis RooneyLaurence (Francis) Francis RooneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Gohmert tests positive; safety fears escalate on Capitol Hill Pelosi to require masks on House floor Rooney becomes first House Republican to use proxy voting system MORE (R-Fla.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) all introduced carbon tax bills on Thursday that each take a shot at cementing the long tossed-around idea of a carbon fee. Those three bills join two other bipartisan measures proposing a carbon tax introduced earlier this year in the House and the Senate.

The influx of legislation is surprising some observers who have long called for action on climate change. They say they wouldn't have believed a year ago that there would have been such a push.

"I can tell you from what I know is that we are worlds apart from the Congress that I left at the beginning of this year," said Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloThe Memo: GOP cringes at new Trump race controversy Trump, GOP go all-in on anti-China strategy Republicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea MORE, a former Republican congressman from Florida who lost his reelection bid last year. 

Curbelo last year was the first Republican to introduce a carbon pricing bill in nearly a decade. He's since joined Alliance for Market Solutions, a Republican-focused carbon tax coalition.

"During my four years I think we made a lot of progress on changing the culture to make it acceptable to discuss this challenge, to name it for what it is -- but even then a lot of Republicans were not anxious to engage," he said.

"Today, not just rank and file from moderate districts, but leading Republicans, senior Republicans are stepping out on the issue, making it clear that the debate should be over solutions, not over science or anything else of that nature, and for me it's a sign of real progress."

Coons's bill with Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report Senate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing MORE (D-Calif.), the Climate Action Rebate Act of 2019, would start greenhouse gas fees at $15 per metric ton of carbon and gradually increase the fee over time.

It estimates the tax would bring in $12 billion in revenue, which would then be distributed in part as a rebate to low-income families. A portion also would be used to invest in clean energy. The bill aims to reduce U.S. carbon emissions 55 percent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Rep. Jimmy PanettaJames Varni PanettaOn The Money: McConnell previews GOP coronavirus bill | Senate panel advances Trump Fed nominee who recently supported gold standard | Economists warn about scaled-back unemployment benefits Bipartisan bill introduced to provide tax credit to food and beverage distributors Overnight Defense: US formally rejects Beijing's South China Sea claims | House set to consider defense policy bill next week | 57 injured as firefighters battle warship blaze MORE (D-Calif.) has introduced a companion bill in the House. Coons had previously introduced a similar bill along with former Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Ariz.) last year. 

A second bill introduced by Rooney with Lipinski as a co-sponsor, the Stemming Warming and Augmenting Pay Act, would impose a $30 tax per metric ton of carbon. Revenues would be largely paid out to individuals through payroll taxes.

The tax would apply to fossil fuel producers and large industrial emitters and would reduce energy-related carbon pollution by approximately 42 percent by 2030. It would also bar new regulations on power plants as long as they meet the emissions targets set by the bill. 

Read the full story here.

 

BEARS EARS LEFTOVERS: Democrats and environmentalists are fuming over Trump administration plans for Utah's Bears Ears monument that would open remaining lands for development after drastically shrinking the protection area in 2017.

Under a plan posted to the Federal Register Friday, the administration would allow land to be cleared of brush and trees and open up land for roads or utility lines.

"This proposed management plan confirms what we already knew: the Trump Administration has no interest in protecting the thousands of cultural and archeological sites in Bears Ears Monument or in seriously consulting with tribes on how best to manage their sacred ancestral lands," Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden's latest plan on racial inequality Overnight Energy: Official says protesters not cleared from Lafayette Square for Trump | Trump administration blasts banks refusing to fund Arctic drilling | 2019 coal production hit lowest level since 1978 MORE (D-Ariz.) said in a statement.

"This plan recklessly weakens protections even for the land that remains in the monument, failing to protect important sites from threats like ATV use, looting, vandalism, and damage from target shooting," he added.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE's administration shrunk the scope of Bears Ears by about 85 percent early in his presidency, a move environmental groups are already challenging in court.

"If we win the legal fight to restore Bears Ears National Monument, this plan will just be 800 pages of wasted effort," said Heidi McIntosh, an attorney with Earthjustice, which sued over the designation.

"Even in the parts of Bears Ears that President Trump left intact, he's planning on putting destructive activities before the American public's interests. Bears Ears is not the kind of place for chaining thousands of acres of forest or stringing up utility lines. These are wild, sweeping monument lands," she added.

Bears Ears and another Utah monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante, had been at the center of a national debate over monuments and their permanence, fueled by an executive order from Trump that directed then-Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeTrump flails as audience dwindles and ratings plummet OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog | Ag secretary orders environmental rollbacks for Forest Service | Senate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Senior Interior official contacted former employer, violating ethics pledge: watchdog MORE to review dozens of previously created monuments.

Though the area is important to Western tribes and conservationists, many state leaders have long opposed the monuments. The Department of Interior tried to highlight local voices in a Friday release promoting the plan. 

"These plans will provide a blueprint to protect the awe-inspiring natural and cultural resources that make this monument nationally significant, while enhancing recreational opportunities and ensuring access to traditional uses," said Ed Roberson, Utah state director for the Bureau of Land Management, an agency within Interior. 

But many have contended that shrinking the scope of the protected area of the monument does no such thing.

Read more about the debate here

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY: 

-Following federal announcement, Colorado lawmakers propose moving land management staff, the Denver Post reports.

-Utah's groundbreaking outdoor recreation office becomes a model for new national network, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

-How climate change is hitting one of America's most impacted coastal counties, Stateline reports.

 

ICYMI:

Stories from Friday...

-More than 60 media outlets commit to week of focused climate coverage

-Trump's plans for development at Bears Ears monument sparks condemnation

-Judge cuts Roundup cancer case payout from $2 billion to $86 million

-Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress