Oct 20, 2017

Trump's energy policy swims in the swamp

Amy Harder, author of Generate

President Trump campaigned on draining the swamp, but in three different energy areas, he's taken steps that are classic Washington moves. Let's run them down:

  1. His administration has, for now, capitulated to the demands of corn-state lawmakers worried about EPA considering scaling back a federal biofuels mandate. Big Corn is alive and well inside the swamp (and in the corn-rich battleground Iowa).
  2. The Energy Department gave a conditional $3.7 billion loan guarantee to a struggling nuclear reactor project under construction. President Obama gave the project $8.3 billion in three other loan guarantees. To be sure, this is only a guarantee in the event of a default, but it's nonetheless classic Washington picking perceived winners and losers.
  3. The Energy Department is asking an independent federal agency to issue a rule that would ensure a resilient grid -- and also benefit energy sources Trump has said he wants to help revive: coal and nuclear power. While this is a rare regulatory step, it is a prime example of an administration using all the Washington levers it has at its disposal to fight market trends.

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.