Dec 12, 2018

Sizing up Joe Manchin's energy committee rise

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Senate Democrats made it official yesterday, elevating West Virginia's Joe Manchin to ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Why it matters: The decision came over the opposition of some progressive groups, who are upset with Manchin's support for fossil fuel development and political contributions from coal and oil companies.

What they're saying: Groups in the "keep-it-in-the-ground wing" of the environmental movement bashed the move.

"Senator Schumer has failed in finding a Ranking Member for this committee that truly understands that the climate crisis requires us to take on the fossil fuel industry, not cater to its demands."
— David Turnbull, spokesman, Oil Change USA

The other side: Manchin says ...

"I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find common sense solutions for long-term comprehensive energy policy that incorporates an all-of-the-above strategy and ensures our state and our nation are leaders in the energy future."

Our thought bubble: I'll return to a point I made recently: This is something of a tempest in a teapot. If Democrats are ever in a position to move a sweeping climate and energy bill, which would likely require controlling both chambers plus the White House, Manchin's role won't be decisive either way.

  • Other committees would craft large parts of this hypothetical bill.
  • Energy provisions Manchin opposed could be added on the floor.

Of note: And he might not even be chairman after the next election period. A more senior member who passed on chairing the committee could decide it's a better gig in the majority.

Go deeper

Sanders: "While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not"

Addressing his supporters via livestream after suspending his campaign, Bernie Sanders congratulated Joe Biden on his presumptive victory in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary while making clear that his fight for progressive ideas will not end with his candidacy.

What he's saying: "While this campaign is coming to an end, our movement is not. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that 'the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.' The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about. The fight for justice is what our movement remains about."

Fed temporarily lifts Wells Fargo's growth restrictions

Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it will temporarily lift Wells Fargo’s growth restrictions, which were put in place following the bank’s customer abuse scandals.

Why it matters: The Fed’s only reason for lifting the cap is so Wells Fargo can dole out more loans to struggling small businesses as part of the government’s coronavirus aid package. Earlier this week, the bank said it could only lend a total of $10 billion, thanks to Fed restrictions that it can’t grow its assets beyond $1.95 trillion.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 1,450,343 — Total deaths: 83,568 — Total recoveries: 308,617Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 399,979 — Total deaths: 12,912 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. Business updates: Roughly one-third of U.S. apartment renters didn't make April payments.
  4. Federal government latest: The U.S. has begun to see "glimmers of hope" despite its highest recorded number of deaths in 24 hours, Anthony Fauci said.
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. World latest: Indians look to Taiwan amid China's coronavirus missteps
  7. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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