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

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Souki in 2014. Photo: Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for The New York Times

Charif Souki is considered one of the pioneers of America’s natural-gas export boom. I recently spoke with Souki, who founded a new company called Tellurian Inc., for my latest Harder Line column. Here are more highlights from our December interview:

  • On the glut of natural gas: “The notion that there was an oversupply of LNG [liquefied natural gas] is slowly disappearing, not slowly, disappearing fast, much faster than people expected.”
  • On how companies are selling and buying natural gas: “If you look at oil indexation -- people don’t want to do oil indexation. The buyer says, ‘if oil goes back to $100 a barrel, I can’t afford your gas.’ If prices go back to $30 a barrel, we can’t afford to sell you the gas. Oil indexation doesn’t work in most cases.”
  • On the natural-gas market becoming increasingly liquid like an oil market: “If you’re a buyer around the world, pick up the phone, there is a cargo not too far from where I am [you say], ‘can you redirect it for $2 more,’ in most cases the answer is yes. … The gas market is very quickly catching up [to the oil market] in terms of liquidity. What you still don’t have is transparency.”
  • On coal: “In my mind, you really can’t save coal. It’s kind of like cigarettes. It does not mean that some people won’t continue to smoke. But today, cigarettes are a bad thing, and coal is going to be a bad thing, but some people will continue to use coal because they have no choice. It’s fine. The energy world is big enough to accommodate everything.”
  • On meeting Elon Musk, founder of electric vehicle and solar company Tesla: “I wish, because he’s a visionary. Fascinating, and he is cool. Whether he’s going to make money this time around…”
  • On emissions of methane, which is the primary component of natural gas and a potent greenhouse gas: “The government should put [in place] rules that are necessary...History is slow, and it goes with hiccups and moves up and down and some regulations make sense and some don’t.”

Go deeper

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

Photo: Filip Filipovic/Getty Images

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
41 mins ago - Economy & Business

Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt will not seek re-election in 2022

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), widely seen as a member of the Republican establishment in Congress, will not run for re-election in 2022, he announced on Twitter Monday.

Why it matters: The 71-year-old senator is the No. 4-ranking Republican in the Senate, and the fifth GOP senator to announce he will not run for re-election in 2022 as the party faces questions about its post-Trump future.

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