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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.