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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Kevin McIntyre has died at 57.

The big picture: McIntyre, a Republican, had stepped aside as chairman of the commission last fall after announcing a "serious health setback." E&E News, which first reported on his passing, notes that McIntyre's brief time heading FERC was nonetheless consequential. He led the unanimous rejection of Energy Secretary Rick Perry's request for sweeping changes in power market rules to benefit coal-fired and nuclear plants, and he launched a review of how FERC vets gas pipeline proposals.

His passing now leaves FERC with a 2-2 split between Republicans and Democrats until a successor is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. That could lead to some policy deadlocks, ClearView Energy Partners said in a note:

"Such partisan divides appear most relevant in the case of Commission approvals for LNG terminals and natural gas pipelines, and potentially on orders that impact the fuel mix of the electric generation sector."

FERC did not provide immediate comment on McIntyre's reported passing.

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Alphabet is shutting down Loon, one of its "moonshots," which aimed to deliver internet service via high-altitude balloons.

Why it matters: The effort was one of several approaches designed to get high-speed connectivity to some of the world's most remote spots and proved useful in the aftermath of disasters that shut down traditional infrastructure.

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Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden swiftly recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate pact and the World Health Organization, but America's broader foreign policy is in a state of flux between the Trump and Biden eras.

Driving the news: One of the most striking moves from the Biden administration thus far was a show of continuity — concurring with the Trump administration's last-minute determination that China had committed "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims.

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