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.

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Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.