Amy Harder Feb 16
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GOP regulator says law compelled call on coal, nuclear

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had to reject a Trump proposal boosting coal and nuclear plants because it was "following the law," Neil Chatterjee, a member of the commission appointed by Trump says in an interview.

“I understand conservative frustration with it. It was a tough issue. Part of that stems from the judicious role that FERC plays. We’ve got to abide by the statutes that govern us. … I can understand how that’s frustrating to people. We are not betraying conservative principles. We are in fact following the law.”

Why it matters: Conservative websites like Townhall and Redstate had criticized the decision, claiming it was like President Obama hadn’t stopped running FERC. One of the articles also called wind and solar “fake energy.” Chatterjee said he did not agree with that.

Lauren Meier 14 hours ago
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Facebook's growing problems

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Facebook is caught in the middle of a rapidly unfolding scandal over Cambridge Analytica's improper gathering of data on millions of users, and what that exposed about the company's data collection. The fiasco has drawn the interest of lawmakers and regulators and rekindled the debate over its role in the 2016 presidential election.

Why it matters: The bad headlines continued to pile up; "A hurricane flattens Facebook" said Wired, "Silicon Valley insiders think that Facebook will never be the same" per Vanity Fair, "Facebook is facing its biggest test ever — and its lack of leadership could sink the company" from CNBC, and — as we've yet to hear from the company's top leaders — "Where is Mark Zuckerberg?" asks Recode.

Dave Lawler 20 hours ago
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What Trump and Putin did and didn't discuss

President Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin this afternoon, and congratulated him on winning re-election on Sunday. After the call, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked whether Trump felt the election had been free and fair, and said it wasn’t up to the U.S. to “dictate" how Russia holds elections.

The bottom line: Trump is not alone in congratulating Putin — leaders in France, Germany and elsewhere have done so this week, as Barack Obama did in 2012. But past administrations certainly have seen it as America’s role to call balls and strikes when it comes to elections abroad, and weigh in when democratic institutions are being undermined. A departure from that approach would be welcomed not only by Putin, but other leaders of pseudo democracies around the world.