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A Christmas Day snowstorm creates whiteout conditions in Boston. Photo: Dina Rudick / The Boston Globe via Getty Images

With a winter storm barreling down the East Coast, representatives from almost every type of energy source are seizing the opportunity to tout how superior their fuel is to America's electricity supply.

The bottom line: It's a classic, ugly political move: Never let a crisis go to waste. Millions of Americans hunkering down to weather a winter storm are worried about if their electricity goes out, not what particular energy is actually fueling their electricity. It's a simple point lost amid the lobbying and messaging battles that so often dominate Washington.

Driving the news: This winter storm is adding fuel to an escalating fight. Advocacy groups representing different fuel types are battling it out ahead of a Jan. 10 deadline facing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent government agency, to decide what to do with an Energy Department proposal compensating coal and nuclear power plants for their ability to store fuel on site, which most other electricity types can't do. That rule's stated aim is to ensure a resilient electric grid, but the department's own data shows fuel diversity isn't the main problem, it's things like power lines going down during bad weather (including the winter storm hitting the East Coast).

Gritty details:

  • A spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute emailed reporters Tuesday noting high prices of natural gas in the Northeast and that all 99 U.S. nuclear reactors are running, which is "an incredible but unsurprising testament to nuclear's reliability and its contribution to a system resiliency."
  • On Wednesday, the National Mining Association that represent coal companies published a blog post saying this most recent spat of cold weather "was just the exclamation point to an otherwise good year for coal if not for its detractors."
  • A wind group spokesman told Bloomberg the grid can better handle severe weather "thanks to an increasingly diverse electricity supply featuring more wind energy production."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."