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Photo: Epics/Getty Images)

States, local governments and restaurants are starting to pause plans to curb single-use plastics as they try and control the coronavirus outbreak, per Argus Media and the Wall Street Journal.

Driving the news: "The delays are in response to concerns that reusable bags and containers carry more risk of spreading the virus than single-use items, which are designed to be used once and thrown away," Argus reports.

Why it matters: It's yet another variable in the complicated question of how coronavirus will affect energy use policies and patterns in the near- and long-term.

The big picture: Petrochemicals used to make plastic are a big source of oil demand. The scope of future restrictions on plastics are one factor that will determine when global oil use eventually peaks.

Where it stands: States and local officials in Maine, New York, Massachusetts and elsewhere are taking steps to enable continued plastic bag use.

Where it stands: Major restaurants have also been forced to rethink their plans.

  • "Starbucks Corp. has said stores that remain open in North America would serve coffee only in disposable cups for takeout," WSJ reports.
  • "Starbucks, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. and Tim Hortons — owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc. — have all stopped filling customers’ reusable cups, a U-turn after years of encouraging them."

Go deeper: Our Plastic Planet

Go deeper

Trump bump: NYT and WaPo digital subscriptions tripled since 2016

Data: Axios reporting and public filings; Chart: Axios Visuals

The New York Times and The Washington Post have very different strategies for building the subscription news company of the future.

The big picture: Sources tell Axios that the Post is nearing 3 million digital subscribers, a 50% year-over-year growth in subscriptions and more than 3x the number of digital-only subscribers it had in 2016. The New York Times now has more than 6 million digital-only subscribers, nearly 3x its number from 2016.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
51 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Biden's emerging climate orbit

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As of Tuesday morning, we know a lot more about President-elect Joe Biden climate personnel orbit, even as picks for agencies like EPA and DOE are outstanding, so here are a few early conclusions.

Why it matters: They're the highest-level names yet announced who will have a role in what Biden is promising will be a far-reaching climate and energy agenda.

Janet Yellen is back

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

A face familiar to Wall Street is back as a central player that this time will need to steer the country out of a deep economic crisis.

Driving the news: President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed chair Janet Yellen to be Treasury secretary.