Jan 16, 2019

Big Oil to Trump: We want global pollution regulations

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.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 786,291 — Total deaths: 37,820 — Total recoveries: 166,088.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 164,620 — Total deaths: 3,170— Total recoveries: 5,943.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30.
  4. State updates: Rural-state governors say testing is still inadequate, contradicting Trump — Virginia, Maryland and D.C. issue stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states.
  5. Business latest: Ford and General Electric aim to make 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
  6. In photos: Navy hospital ship arrives in Manhattan.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: World Bank warns economic pain unavoidable

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

The novel coronavirus has caused a "global shock" and significant economic pain "seems unavoidable in all countries," the World Bank said in an economic update for
East Asia and the Pacific on Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 786,000 and the death toll exceeded 37,800 early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy reported more than 11,500 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 3,000

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

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 3,000 late Monday.

The state of play: There were more than 164,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. early Tuesday — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. The COVID-19 death toll stood at 3,170. The number of recoveries had risen to more than 5,900.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health