Oct 18, 2018

Trump’s Interior chief touts offshore wind progress

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke attends a cabinet meeting with President Trump. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Interior Department is gearing up to auction federal waters for wind-energy development offshore Massachusetts and is taking the first steps for the same development off California, Secretary Ryan Zinke told a conference Monday.

Why it matters: Offshore wind, which is just getting off the ground in the U.S., is a rare example of the Trump administration actively pushing renewable energy, despite its main focus on fossil fuels. With just one operating offshore wind farm in the U.S., government support at this stage of the game is critical.

“My job is to make sure the government is a partner with you. And I’m bullish on wind.”
— Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

The details: The Interior Department will hold a highly anticipated auction for federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts on Dec. 13.

  • Zinke also said he will begin the first steps in offering the first-ever wind auction in federal waters off California’s coasts.

One key moment: A protestor interrupted the conference to yell “fire,” only to wait a few seconds before adding “Zinke" (implying there was a fire in the building). He then walked through the back of the conference room yelling that Zinke doesn’t support renewable energy or believe in climate change, to which Zinke said from stage: “Isn’t America great?” In a twist on typical protesters, attendees at the conference booed the interrupter and told him to get a job.

Go deeper: California, oil exec huddle on offshore wind

Danish wind giant makes big U.S. move

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates: Half of the globe is on lockdown

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

About half of the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis.

The latest: About half of deaths worldwide are in Italy and Spain, with fatalities exponentially increasing all over Europe. The global death toll exceeded 55,000 on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 23 mins ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: 700,000 jobs lost in March, death toll still rising

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March, but the report doesn't reflect the height of the virus' impact on the economy. The jobless hits right now are like a natural disaster striking every state at the same time.

The state of play: Payments to Americans from the $2.2 trillion stimulus package will be distributed in mid-April, but those without IRS direct deposit accounts may not receive checks until August, according to a House Ways and Means Committee memo first reported by CNN and confirmed by Axios.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 41 mins ago - Health

Skepticism rises over government's small business bailouts

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

America today launched its $350 billion bailout for small businesses, and already there is widespread skepticism that the program will run smoothly or be large enough to meet demand.

What's new: House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy yesterday said that the affiliation rule will be waived for any company with less than 500 employees that doesn't have a controlling outside shareholder, thus making most VC-backed startups eligible for PPP loans. This was based on a conversation he'd just had with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.