Senator Sullivan speaking at CERAWeek. Photo: Amy Harder / Axios

HOUSTON -- A Republican lawmaker and a CEO of a pipeline company expressed concern over President Trump’s plans to impose tariffs on steel at an energy confab getting underway today in America’s oil capital.

The bottom line: Expect this to be one of the most prevalent themes here at the conference, called CERAWeek by IHS Markit, coming just a few days after the tumultuous announcement out of the White House last week.

Fast facts: The oil and gas industry is heavily dependent upon steel to construct pipelines to move their products. Much of the steel used is imported, largely because the type of steel used is not readily available in America.

Quoted:

“Right now the approach seems to be splitting our allies apart.”
— Sen. Daniel Sullivan, Republican from Alaska
“We don’t think it would be appropriate to put a tariff on something you can’t buy here in the United States... We’ll survive no matter what. It’s a thornier issue than printed in the headlines."
— Gregory Armstrong, CEO and chairman of Plains All American Pipeline

The intrigue: Those comments came during the opening event at the conference, hosted by IHS executive and energy historian Daniel Yergin. The question came toward the end of Yergin’s conversation with Sullivan and Armstrong, but it was what everyone was waiting for: “And I guess I should ask you what you think about tariffs. Who wants to go first.”

Go deeper: Trump should be great for oil and gas. He’s not.

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

34 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!