A pile of coal at a West Virginia plant. Photo: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Six House Republicans representing coal-intensive states introduced a bill Wednesday creating a new tax credit subsidizing virtually all coal plants across the U.S., as a way to support the reliability of America’s electric grid.

Why it matters: It’s the latest effort by the coal lobby and its backers in Washington to support the economically struggling fleet of coal plants after the Energy Department’s efforts to boost their revenues through power-market rules was rejected by independent federal regulators.

Flashback: The coal lobby has been trying for months to get Congress to introduce this proposal, as I reported exclusively in this December column.

Gritty details: Rep. Larry Bucshon, Republican from Indiana, introduced the bill along with five other Republicans: Joe Barton of Texas, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Andy Barr of Kentucky, and David McKinley and Evan Jenkins of West Virginia.

One level deeper: A parallel effort I wrote about in December, a similar tax credit for existing nuclear plants, surfaced in bipartisan legislation introduced late last year by Rep. Patrick Meehan, Republican from Pennsylvania. Unlike coal, nuclear power brings with it Democratic support because it doesn’t emit any carbon when burned as electricity.

Bottom line: Both of these efforts are long shots given Congress is not in the mood for creating wholly new tax subsidies, whose price tags will be into the billions (though likely less than the December proposals). The measures nonetheless show the strong influence industry has with Congress.

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Media prepares to fact check debates in real time

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

From live blogs to video chyrons and tweets, media companies are introducing new ways to fact check the presidential debates in real time this year.

Between the lines: The debates themselves are likely to leave less room for live fact-checking from moderators than a traditional news interview would.

Life after Roe v. Wade

The future seems clear to both parties: The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade in the next few years, either gradually or in one fell swoop, and the abortion wars will move to a state-by-state battle over freedom and restrictions. 

What's new: Two of the leading activists on opposite sides of the abortion debate outlined for “Axios on HBO” the next frontiers in a post-Roe v. Wade world as the balance on the Supreme Court prepares to shift.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Jerome Powell, Trump's re-election MVP

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Getty Images photos: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP and Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket

President Trump trails Joe Biden in most polls, has generally lower approval ratings and is behind in trust on most issues. Yet polls consistently give him an edge on the economy, which remains a top priority among voters.

Why it matters: If Trump wins re-election, it will largely be because Americans see him as the force rallying a still-strong U.S. economy, a narrative girded by skyrocketing stock prices and consistently climbing U.S. home values — but the man behind booming U.S. asset prices is really Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell.