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Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry is preparing to step down by the end of the year, per several reports Thursday night citing anonymous sources familiar with his plans.

Why it matters: Perry has served far longer than many officials in President Trump's Cabinet and avoided the kinds of controversies that forced out ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt and former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Where it stands: Politico reported last night that the former Texas governor is "expected" to announce his resignation by the end of November. A subsequent Washington Post story says the timing is "by the end of the year," while The New York Times reports the timeframe is "by December."

  • The Energy Department pushed back against the stories but stopped short of denying them outright.
  • "While the beltway media has breathlessly reported on rumors of Secretary Perry’s departure for months, he is still the Secretary of Energy and a proud member of President Trump’s cabinet," DOE spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said in a statement.
  • "One day the media will be right. Today is not that day," she added.

The big picture: Perry has been a vocal advocate for U.S. fossil fuel production and exports, in particular touting the role of U.S. liquefied natural gas in bolstering allies' energy security.

  • However, his high-profile efforts to create new federal support for coal-fired and nuclear plants at risk of closure never came to fruition.
  • Perry has also backed DOE's alternative energy programs, a delicate role at a time when White House officials have called for steep cuts that Congress has rejected on a bipartisan basis.
  • He notably has talked up the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy, which White House budget proposals have sought to choke off.

What's next: Democrats are seeking more information about Perry's interactions with Ukrainian officials as they investigate Trump ahead of potential impeachment.

  • However, per the Post: "[N]o evidence has emerged that Perry participated in the effort to pressure Ukranian officials to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter."

Go deeper: Democrats press Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Ukraine travels

Go deeper

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.
Kate Marino, author of Markets
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views of their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of canceled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.