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Expand chart
Adapted from U.S. Energy Information Administration via Danish Embassy; Note: Figures reflect previous 12 months; Chart: Axios Visuals

America’s electricity generation reached the highest level since before the economic recession, just-released government data shows.

Why it matters: Electricity generation in the U.S. has been largely stagnant for a decade, fueled by a slow-growing economy after the 2008 financial crash and the resulting lackluster electricity demand. That’s starting to change, recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows.

“We learned to do less with less during the Great Recession, then we learned to do more with less in the low-energy recovery that followed. Now it looks like America is doing more with more.”
— Kevin Book, managing director, ClearView Energy Partners

Yes, but: Chris Cassar, an electricity expert at the EIA, notes that weather may be at play too. He said this summer was a lot warmer than last year’s, which would have increased the need for electricity generation. “It is very hard to completely separate weather from the economic factors affecting the change in electricity generation.”

One level deeper: Growing electricity generation is good news for all producers and generators of electricity, which have for the last year been battling it out for a piece of the mostly stagnant market as President Trump seeks to boost financially struggling coal and nuclear power plants. I call this the Hunger Games of electricity, in a Harder Line column of mine from last year.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
59 mins ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

13 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."