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

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Chris Christie: Wear a mask "or you may regret it — as I did" — Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted relief bill.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: The pandemic is getting worse again New York reports most cases since MayMany U.S. coronavirus deaths were avoidable.
  4. Education: Boston and Chicago send students back home for online learning.
  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases — France becomes the second.

Biden says he will appoint commission on Supreme Court reform

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden told CBS' "60 Minutes" this week that if elected, he would put together a bipartisan commission to study the federal court system and make recommendations for reform.

Why it matters: Biden has come under pressure to clarify his position on court packing after some Democrats suggested expanding the court if Senate Republicans confirm President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
58 mins ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street still prefers bonds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Sunset Boulevard/Getty Contributor

Investors' return on U.S. corporate bonds has been falling since its August peak, but buying has only accelerated, especially in investment grade bonds that are offering historically low yields.

The state of play: Since hitting its 2020 high on Aug. 4, the benchmark Bloomberg Barclays U.S. bond aggregate has delivered a -2.2% return. (For comparison, the S&P 500 has gained 3.9% during the same time period.)