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LM Otero / AP

Happening today: Major green energy trade groups are going public with concerns about a newly initiated, wide-ranging Energy Department study of power markets and reliability.

  • The 60-day study, begun in mid-April, is reviewing (among other things) whether "regulatory burdens" and "mandates and tax and subsidy policies" for renewables are forcing coal and nuclear plants into retirement.

Why it matters: The study is designed to help inform Trump administration policy, and represents one of Energy secretary Rick Perry's first major moves.

Driving the news: Three major groups — Advanced Energy Economy, the Solar Energy Industries Association, and the American Wind Energy Association — are out with a new letter to DOE this morning about the study.

  • What they want: It asks Perry to create a "public process" that will formally seek input from outside voices, including their groups, as the department crafts the study.
  • The letter says that "numerous" studies have shown that low natural gas prices and stagnant power demand are the main reasons why coal and nuclear plants are closing — not regulations and pro-renewables policies.

One level deeper: Renewables advocates are wary of the political appointee that Perry has reportedly tapped to lead the study. Economist Travis Fisher comes to DOE from the conservative Institute for Energy Research, a group with fossil fuel industry backing.

  • Sources tell Axios that Fisher had begun meeting with outside parties. But advocates want a more formalized and substantive stakeholder process.

Advocates of renewables, efficiency, and emerging grid technologies fear that the study will be used to justify rolling back federal support, and even spur moves against state-level policies that bolster those energy techs.

Quick take: They're worried that Perry will not have their back as expected. Renewables advocates had seen Perry, who compiled a pro-wind record as Texas governor, as a potential ally and moderating force in the Trump administration.

In Congress: A separate letter from seven Democratic senators, including Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate's Energy Committee, attacks the study as a "thinly disguised attempt" to favor coal and nuclear at the expense of wind and solar energy.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.