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Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo By Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Monday his agency will soon decide whether to approve a request to boost economically struggling coal and nuclear power plants.

Between the lines: His remarks dampened prospects that the Trump administration will move to keep a string of these plants open in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

“[The request] may not be the way that we decide is the most appropriate, the most efficient way to address this. It’s not the only way."
Perry at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit in New York

Why it matters: The approval of an emergency order request by utility FirstEnergy Solutions matters for two reasons:

  1. It’s unprecedented in the history of the arcane Energy Department provision, and most independent experts say approving it would be a huge intervention into the competitive power market.
  2. Approving the order would be an explicit way President Trump can show he’s reviving the coal and nuclear industries, a campaign promise.

What’s next: Bob Murray, the CEO of privately-held coal producer Murray Energy, will speak at the same conference on Tuesday at noon ET. The Energy Department denied a similar request by his company last year. Expect fireworks on this topic and more, given Murray will be in a crowd of executives whose companies are largely built around the evolution away from coal.

Go deeper

Reddit traders look to pummel Wall Street's old guard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Reddit traders are taking on Wall Street pros at their own game with this basic mantra: Stocks will always go up.

Why it matters: Their trades — egged on in Reddit threads — have played a role in historic market activity in recent days.

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.

Pay TV's bleak post-pandemic outlook

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the Pay-TV industry, and with the near-term future of live sports in question, there are no signs of it getting better in 2021.

Why it matters: The fraught Pay-TV landscape is forcing some smaller, niche cable channels out of business altogether.