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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Higher home energy prices heading into the chilly months are the latest energy-related problem facing Joe Biden at a sensitive time in his young presidency.

Driving the news: The Energy Department's independent stats arm projects heating bills this winter will rise thanks to higher commodity prices and predictions of a colder winter.

  • The White House is already grappling with rising gasoline prices, which per AAA now average $3.30 per gallon, a seven-year high.
  • Bloomberg reports that several Cabinet secretaries and top White House aides gathered Tuesday night to discuss rising gasoline and natural gas prices.
  • Meanwhile, per Reuters and Politico, the administration has been speaking with the industry about ways to curb prices.

Why it matters: Higher oil, gasoline and natural gas prices have political and policy ramifications.

  • They come as President Biden's approval ratings have been trending generally downward in recent months, and Democrats face a high risk of losing one or both chambers of Congress in 2022.
  • Meanwhile, the oil industry is arguing that climate provisions Democrats hope to move through Congress — like a new fee on methane emissions — would raise consumer costs (whether this would be significant is hardly clear).
  • The global energy price and supply crunch might complicate efforts to spur new climate policies at or after the looming UN climate summit. Or it could have the opposite effect, who knows!

Reality check: Presidents have little sway over energy prices, which are largely set by market forces and have risen for several reasons.

  • They include the global economic return from the pandemic, OPEC's production restraint, and U.S. oil-and-gas output that remains far below pre-COVID levels.

Go deeper: Global energy crisis could dim climate hopes

Go deeper

Definition of success at UN Climate Summit is in flux

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow is less than 20 days away, and diplomats have entered a crucial period when expectations are raised or lowered to guard against any blowback that might come from a particular outcome.

Driving the news: Officials in the U.S. and abroad are sending clear signals that the odds that COP26 will meet some of its most important goals are diminishing, for a variety of reasons both macro and micro in scale.

This is what a profit margin squeeze looks like

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Two inflation indexes out this week, taken together, show how companies’ margins are getting squeezed.

Why it matters: Corporate earnings growth, while still historically high, is receding from record second-quarter levels. Margins will be a huge focus during Q3 earnings calls this month.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
16 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Key clean power provision likely won't survive in Dems' spending bill

A construction worker walks along a dirt road at the Avangrid Renewables La Joya wind farm in Encino, New Mexico, on Aug. 5, 2020. Photo: Cate Dingley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A pillar of Democrats' plans to speed deployment of zero-carbon electricity is likely to be cut from major spending and tax legislation they are struggling to move on a party-line vote, per multiple reports and a Capitol Hill aide.

Driving the news: The New York Times, citing anonymous congressional aides and lobbyists, reports that West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) has told the White House he "strongly opposes" the Clean Electricity Performance Program.