Mar 20, 2019

Trump still wants to prop up struggling coal and nuclear plants

Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

A White House report yesterday hinted that one idea to help economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants stay open might still be alive.

Why it matters: President Trump has made helping the coal industry a signature goal. But policies thus far have not stopped the ongoing retirement of plants facing intense competition from cheap natural gas and other forces.

Between the lines: Page 282 of a wide-ranging White House economic report released yesterday revives the idea of a strategic electricity "generation reserve."

"The entire portfolio of generation assets in the United States could be eligible to be part of a reserve, with different strategic weights placed on various types of generation — for example, nuclear or coal-fired generation might provide greater resilience benefits and therefore be preferentially selected into the reserve."

The bottom line: It's hard to make heads or tails of what's in the report. The White House and the Energy Department did not provide comment yesterday.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The coronavirus is Trump's slow-burn crisis

Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

At 6:30 p.m. from the White House press room, President Trump will publicly make himself the face of America's response to the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: This is exactly the situation where a president needs the credibility to truthfully explain a tough situation to the public.

Obama demands South Carolina stations stop airing misleading anti-Biden ad

Photo: Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Former President Obama's office is calling on South Carolina TV stations to stop running a misleading attack ad by a pro-Trump super PAC that uses Obama's voice out of context to make it appear as if he is criticizing Joe Biden and Democrats on race.

Why it matters: It's a rare intervention by Obama, whose former vice president is facing a critical primary in South Carolina on Saturday. Obama has said he has no plans to endorse in the Democratic field.

The megatrends that will shape the 21st century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An enormous amount of change has been crammed into the first two decades of the 21st century — but what’s coming next will break every speed record.

The big picture: The world is being buffeted by rapid yet uneven advances in technology that will revamp work and what it means to be human. At the same time, fundamental demographic changes will alter democracies and autocracies alike while the effects of climate change accumulate, physically redrawing our globe.