May 16, 2018

U.S. crude oil exports hit new high

An oil derrick in Texas. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The United States' crude oil exports averaged 2.57 million barrels per day for the week that ended May 11, the highest level on record, according to newly released federal data.

Why it matters: The data shows how the shale oil production boom, combined with the lifting of extremely heavy export restrictions in a late 2015 law, is transforming the U.S. into an increasingly prominent player in global crude markets.

Sign of the times: Of the six times the weekly export average has exceeded 2 million barrels per day, five of them have occurred in 2018, Energy Information Administration figures show.

Go deeper: Reuters has more here on EIA's weekly petroleum data release.

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MLB's Rob Manfred is latest villain in Astros' cheating scandal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision to grant Astros players immunity in exchange for confessions about their sign-stealing scheme has undermined his reputation — and he only made himself look worse on Sunday.

The interview: In a 45-minute conversation with ESPN, Manfred asserted that public shame was punishment enough for the Astros. He also called the World Series trophy "just a piece of metal" and said that taking a title away from Houston "seems like a futile act."

Go deeperArrow50 mins ago - Sports

Economists warn coronavirus risk far worse than realized

Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Worries are growing that the economic impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak will be worse than expected and that markets are being too complacent in factoring it in as a risk.

What's happening: The number of confirmed cases has already far outpaced expectations and even those reports are being viewed through a lens of suspicion that the Chinese government is underreporting the figures.

National newspapers thrive while local outlets struggle to survive

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While big national newspapers grow stronger, local newspaper chains that have for decades kept the vast majority of the country informed are combusting.

Why it matters: The inequity between giants like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and their local counterparts represents a growing problem in America as local communities no longer have the power to set the agenda for the news that most affects them.