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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

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate seat ahead of inauguration

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Photo: Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris submitted her resignation from her seat in the U.S. Senate on Monday, two days before she will be sworn into her new role.

What's next: California Gov. Gavin Newsom has selected California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to serve out the rest of Harris' term, which ends in 2022.

2 hours ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.