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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

34 mins ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

A health care worker preparing a Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine dose in New York City on Oct. 21. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the Food and Drug Administration Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

Changing the inflation conversation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Inflation looks like it’ll run hot for longer than plenty of smart people thought it would. The conversation over just how much more Americans will have to pay for their stuff has taken on a new intensity, as supply problems show few signs of fading.

Why it matters: The rate of price growth has remained consistently strong in recent months — a time that some thought would bring cooling prices after an initial reopening spike. What goes on with prices will influence the decisions made by Congress, the Biden Administration, and the Federal Reserve.

The biggest headline from Biden's town hall

President Biden greets attendees during a commercial break in Baltimore last night. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

What matters from President Biden's town hall with CNN's Anderson Cooper at Baltimore Center Stage on Thursday:

The biggest headline: Biden is jettisoning the corporate tax increases that White House officials have insisted, for the past 10 months, are wildly popular across the country. He admitted he doesn't have the votes.