Updated Dec 6, 2018

Trump energy regulation nominee confirmed despite Manchin opposition

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Trump's choice for an open Federal Energy Regulatory Commission seat has been confirmed by a 50-49 margin — despite a late twist that arrives at an interesting moment in energy politics.

Driving the news: West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin unexpectedly opposed Bernard McNamee in a procedural vote yesterday, citing his early 2017 comments recently unearthed by the publication Utility Dive.

"After viewing video footage, which I had not previously seen, where Bernard McNamee outright denies the impact that humans are having on our climate, I can no longer support his nomination to be a FERC commissioner."
— Joe Manchin, in statement

Why it matters: The change of heart arrives as some progressive activists are pressing Democratic leaders to block Manchin from becoming the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

  • They say Manchin is too close to the fossil fuel industry, citing his acceptance of campaign contributions.

The big question: Whether yesterday's surprise move will affect the internal Democratic caucus politics around Manchin's potential ascension on the committee.

  • Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has declined comment on calls to block him.

Yes, but: Don't look for activists to end their campaign against Manchin.

  • "A last minute flip on McNamee doesn’t erase a career of putting polluters ahead of people. Manchin has the worst climate record of any Democratic Senator," 350.org's Jamie Henn tells Axios.
  • The Sunrise Movement said they still oppose his rise on the panel.

Go deeper: Climate politics moves up the Democrats' priority list

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The race to catch Nike's Vaporfly shoe before the 2020 Olympics

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Four months ago, on the very same weekend, Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, and fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered the women's marathon record.

Why it matters: Kipchoge and Kosgei were both wearing Nike's controversial Vaporfly sneakers, which many believed would be banned because of the performance boost provided by a carbon-fiber plate in the midsole that acted as a spring and saved the runner energy.

Go deeperArrow46 mins ago - Sports

Reassessing the global impact of the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economists are rethinking projections about the broader economic consequences of the coronavirus outbreak after a surge of diagnoses and deaths outside Asia and an announcement from a top CDC official that Americans should be prepared for the virus to spread here.

What's happening: The coronavirus quickly went from an also-ran concern to the most talked-about issue at the National Association for Business Economics policy conference in Washington, D.C.

Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.