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Rebecca Zisser / Axios

America’s largest oil-industry groups are launching a new coalition to lobby in support of new global standards that tighten air pollution regulations for shipping fuel.

Why it matters: This is a classic example of business using regulation to gain a competitive edge over others. Many of America’s oil and refining companies have been anticipating these rules — set a decade ago by an arm of the United Nations that oversees maritime issues — and moving toward low-sulfur kinds of diesel fuel.

Details: The Coalition for American Energy Security officially launched Tuesday. Although the organization doesn't have a website yet, it has the following members and plans to grow further:

  • American Petroleum Institute
  • American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers
  • Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, which counts Continental Resources (whose CEO Harold Hamm is close to President Trump) as a leading member.
  • United Steel Workers

The big picture: The global standards are forecast to increase prices of diesel, gasoline and oil prices in the coming years, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.

  • The analysis finds that the price impacts will be “most acute in 2020 and diminish over time.”
  • That development — an uptick in oil prices during the presidential election year — could favor a possible attempted intervention by the Trump administration, as the Wall Street Journal reported last October.
  • The new coalition says that the EIA also shows diesel, fuel and gasoline prices for consumers will be lower in 2020 than they were last year.
  • Columbia University scholar Antoine Halff agreed, writing Tuesday that the increase in fuel prices due to the standards is "more than offset by downward pressures" from other factors.

What’s next: The rules officially go into effect January 1 next year. A coalition spokesperson says they are not hearing that the administration has any plans to urge for an easing of the standards, like the October WSJ report had indicated. A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.