Jun 8, 2017

Scoop: Oil lobby group taps top communications official

Brennan Linsley / AP

The American Petroleum Institute has tapped Megan Bloomgren, who worked on the Trump administration's transition team at the Interior Department, to be its top communications official.

Why it matters: Finding a unified voice in trade associations is like herding cats, and Bloomgren will be at the heart of that task shaping the group's public communications strategy amid tumultuous times in Washington and an unpredictable administration. The group, the U.S.'s biggest lobbying group representing the oil and natural-gas industry, finds itself on offense after eight years of mostly defense with former President Obama's aggressive regulatory agenda.

But remember: Offense is not always easier than defense. Bloomgren says her top priorities will include making sure the industry's tax policies are protected in any overhaul Congress might pursue, expanding access to land and water to drill and influencing Washington's infrastructure debate. The industry itself is divided on some of these issues, with integrated oil companies like ExxonMobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell often on different sides than more domestically focused companies.

Her background: Before helping Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke through his confirmation process, Bloomgren was at the public relations firm DCI Group, and has also held communication jobs at various federal agencies under then-President George W. Bush, including the Energy Department and EPA.

Her predecessor:

Bloomgren is replacing Linda Rozett, who is retiring after seven years on the job, according to API.

Go deeper

Trump attacks Schumer for impeachment in letter about coronavirus crisis

President Trump briefs reports on April 2. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump accused Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of being "missing in action" during the coronavirus crisis, writing in a scathing letter on Thursday that Schumer's focus on the "ridiculous impeachment hoax" resulted in New York being ill-prepared for the pandemic.

Why it matters: It's a blistering response to Schumer urging Trump to assign a senior military officer to enforce the Defense Production Act to produce more medical supplies.

World coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases top 1 million

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Novel coronavirus infections have hit the 1 million mark after "near exponential growth" that's reached "almost every country," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday.

The big picture: The global death toll exceeded 50,000 on Thursday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported nearly 14,000 deaths. Governments around the world have introduced public health and economic measures to try and curb the impact of the virus.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 40 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 1,007,997 — Total deaths: 52,771 — Total recoveries: 210,055Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 236,339 — Total deaths: 5,648 — Total recoveries: 8,861Map.
  3. 2020 update: The Democratic National Committee said its July convention will be postponed until August because of the coronavirus.
  4. Jobs latest: The coronavirus unemployment numbers are like a natural disaster hitting every state
  5. Public health latest: FDA allows blood donations from gay men after 3-month waiting period, citing "urgent need."
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  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
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