Confirmation hearings

Barr confirmation hearing highlights Big Tech antitrust fears

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. Attorney General nominee Bill Barr was asked repeatedly about antitrust issues as they may relate to big technology companies, during his confirmation hearings this week.

Why it matters: Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wasn't asked any similar questions during his confirmation hearings just two years ago. In fact, he was only asked two total questions related to antitrust, and there were zero mentions of Amazon, Facebook or Google.

Andrew Wheeler blames forest management as cause of wildfires

Andrew Wheeler.
Andrew Wheeler. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler told senators during his confirmation hearing Wednesday, "I think the biggest issue with wildfires is forest management ... not drought."

Why it matters: Studies show that climate change, which is leading to hotter, drier summers in California, is tied to the sharp increase in large wildfires in that state and other parts of the West, along with a lengthening fire season, Axios' Andrew Freedman notes. Forest management and population growth are also factors, but they don't explain the entire situation.

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