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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

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.

The walls close in on Trump

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

With Bill Barr's "Et tu, Brute!" interview with AP, President Trump is watching the walls close in on his claims of fraud, hoaxes and conspiracies.

Why it matters: Trump and his legal team continue to claim election fraud. But the Republican governors of Arizona and Georgia have certified their elections, a loyalist like Barr has weighed in, and lower-ranking officials have taken potshots.

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.