The Exelon Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Illinois. Photo: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

The Supreme Court yesterday declined to take up challenges to appellate rulings that upheld state subsidies in Illinois and New York aimed at keeping nuclear plants from shutting down.

Why it matters: A number of climate advocates fear that allowing substantial amounts of nuclear generation — which is facing stiff market pressures — to go offline will be a major setback.

  • The decision not to hear the cases is also important because some other states have crafted or are weighing plans to preserve their nuclear generation.

What's happening: Here's Utility Dive on the high court's refusal to hear the challenges to so-called zero emissions credits programs in 2 states...

  • "Since New York and Illinois approved their nuclear supports in 2016 and 2017, respectively, Connecticut and New Jersey have enacted programs to preserve the generators threatened with early retirement because of competition from natural gas and renewables."
  • Lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Ohio are weighing nuclear subsidies as well, they note.

What they're saying: The rejection of the petition to review the appellate rulings affirms that "states have broad legal authority to enact programs that pay clean energy generators for their production of zero-emission energy," Harvard electricity law expert Ari Peskoe said in comments circulated to reporters.

Go deeper: Trump striking out on coal and nuclear energy

Go deeper

12 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill coronavirus on airplanes

Electrostatic spraying of disinfectant. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.