Dec 12, 2018

Coal-friendly Joe Manchin named top Democrat on Senate energy panel

Joe Manchin, incoming top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 

Senate Democrats on Tuesday elevated West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin as the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee despite fierce opposition from some progressive groups over Manchin’s support for and campaign contributions from coal and oil-and-gas companies.

Why it matters: These critics say Manchin is too close to the industries he will oversee and that he may impede the passage of future bold climate change proposals. Last week, in what may have been an effor to diminish those concerns, Manchin voted against President Trump's choice for a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over the nominee's views on climate change.

What they're saying: Manchin said in a statement that he’s “excited for the opportunity to continue to serve West Virginians in this new role.”

  • “The problems facing our country are serious, and I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common-sense solutions for long-term comprehensive energy policy that incorporates an all-of-the-above strategy and ensures our state and our nation are leaders in the energy future,” he continued.

Anti-fossil-fuels group Oil Change USA said this is "the wrong choice at the wrong time for the Democrats. ... While climate impacts are getting ever more intense, and the science shows we must keep fossil fuels in the ground, Senator Manchin has enjoyed nearly $1 million in campaign contributions from oil, gas and coal interests in his career."

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Coronavirus updates: World case count tops 600,000, Spain sees its deadliest day of outbreak

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain reported a record 832 coronavirus deaths in 24 hours — just one day after Italy reported nearly 1,000 deaths.

The big picture: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 615,519. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 615,519 — Total deaths: 28,687 — Total recoveries: 135,671.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 104,837 — Total deaths: 1,711 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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The one-minute coronavirus story

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

News about the coronavirus is so big and coming so fast that it's hard to remember what happened just last week, let alone last month.

Here's the quickest possible review of the story so far — how it happened and how the U.S. lost control.

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