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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."

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Colonial pipeline hack: Key takeaways from Biden's first energy crisis

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Restoration of the Colonial Pipeline, the huge East Coast gasoline artery, is the beginning of the end of a crisis that prompted a White House logistical and political scramble.

Catch up fast: Late Wednesday afternoon, Colonial began a restart of the 5,500-mile line that shut down nearly a week ago after a ransomware attack.

New Jan. 6 body camera footage shows Trump supporters attacking officer

New body camera footage obtained by CNN shows the moment a DC police officer was brutally attacked by Trump supporters during the Capitol Hill insurrection.

Driving the news: The release of video comes a day after Republican members of Congress sought to downplay the Jan. 6 events, with some lawmakers calling the rioters "peaceful patriots" and comparing them to tourists.