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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The chairman of the Senate's energy committee wants President Biden to consider the "many benefits of responsible domestic natural gas production" as the administration crafts its executive energy policies.

Why it matters: West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin's position, spelled out in a new letter to Biden, comes as Manchin is poised for an influential role in the administration's legislative efforts.

  • Beyond leading the energy panel, Manchin's vote is important because of the Democrats' razor-thin Senate majority.

The big picture: The letter from Manchin, whose state has substantial gas output, says the U.S. production boom has bolstered energy security, supports lots of jobs and has given the U.S. geopolitical leverage.

The intrigue: Gas is a point of tension within the Democratic coalition.

  • Lawmakers from gas-producing states don't see eye-to-eye with environmentalists who want much more aggressive steps to transition away from all fossil fuels.
  • Natural gas spews far less CO2 than coal when burned for power. But releases of the powerful greenhouse gas methane further up the development chain are a big problem.
  • Manchin's letter calls for use of current tech and innovation to curb methane releases, and efforts to advance CO2 capture tech for industrial gas applications.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 11, 2021 - Energy & Environment

IEA says Biden's early oil moves have limited near-term impact

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

The effects of President Biden's restrictions on oil-and-gas leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters will be limited in the near term, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.

Driving the news: IEA's monthly oil market report says it doesn't see a "material impact on U.S. production in the short term."

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.