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Matt Rourke, File / AP

The issue

President Trump and his top advisers are saying they will revive the nuclear power industry, which is struggling to keep current reactors open or open new ones. They blame federal regulations for the sector's problems. "This industry has been strangled all too often by government regulation," Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Tuesday at a White House briefing for the administration's Energy Week.

The facts

Federal regulations are not hurting nuclear power. The biggest cause of nuclear power's struggles is cheap natural gas flooding electricity markets (same goes for coal, by the way). Renewable power, whose use is mandated under some state laws, is also pushing out nuclear power in certain markets. In fact, federal regulations would be the biggest thing the Trump administration could do to help nuclear power. An EPA rule cutting carbon emissions from power plants, which Administrator Scott Pruitt is working to repeal, could have helped make carbon-free but expensive nuclear power plants more competitive with cheap natural gas plants. A more explicit market signal, like a tax on carbon emissions, would help nuclear power more than any other government policy.

Why it matters

Top Trump officials have given a lot of positive rhetoric to nuclear power, but so far it's all talk and no action. The administration is very unlikely to pull any of the biggest policy levers it could to help nuclear power: regulations or a carbon tax. Trump's budget proposal also slashes funding for the Energy Department's nuclear office, and although Congress is unlikely to pass that budget, it nonetheless signals federal priorities. Congress is also debating legislation that would allow four financially struggling nuclear reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina (the only new ones in some 30 years) to receive tax credits. Spokespeople for the administration didn't return requests for comments about whether it supports that measure or not.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.