Trump shaking hands with a coal miner. Photo: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images

Bloomberg broke a story last night about the emerging structure of long-discussed Trump administration efforts to aid economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

Why it matters: Per their story, the plan would "represent an unprecedented intervention into U.S. energy markets."

One level deeper: The news service obtained a memo — circulated ahead of a National Security Council meeting scheduled for today — describing plans for Energy Department use of emergency powers to force grid operators to buy power or power capacity from at-risk plants.

  • "The agency also is making plans to establish a 'Strategic Electric Generation Reserve' with the aim of promoting the national defense and maximizing domestic energy supplies," Bloomberg reports.

To be sure: Bloomberg notes that there's "no indication whether" Trump has signed off on the plan or when it might be implemented.

Between the lines: The story is the latest twist in intense political and lobbying battle over the fate of power plants that will or might go offline under market pressure from cheap natural gas, stagnant demand and the growth of renewables.

  • Administration officials argue that action to keep coal and nuclear plants going is essential for the reliability and resilience of the power system, but the claim is hotly disputed by many experts.

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Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.

2 hours ago - World

China embraces hostage diplomacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government is threatening to detain foreign citizens unless their home governments do what Beijing demands. In some cases, China has already made good on those threats.

The big picture: This marks a potential evolution of China's "wolf warrior diplomacy" to outright rogue state behavior, putting it in the company of countries like North Korea and Iran, which have also engaged in hostage diplomacy.