Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chevron's pledged this week to cut emissions intensity — that is, emissions per unit of energy produced — from its oil and gas production.

Why it matters: The oil giant hasn't been as aggressive on climate change as European-based oil majors like Shell.

Yes, but: The company has stepped up its activities in recent years with moves including ...

  • Investments through its venture arm in companies like the EV charging player ChargePoint, and the CO2-removal firm Carbon Engineering.
  • Last year joining the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a coalition of oil majors working on the topic.

However, as this Financial Times piece points out, Chevron's investment in low-carbon energy is smaller than some rivals.

What they're saying: Advocates pushing the oil majors to do more were lukewarm on Chevron's announcement when I touched base with them yesterday.

  • “It’s a relatively small intensity goal. ... It certainly does not feel like something that has a whole lot of teeth or ambition," said Bruno Sarda of CDP North America (CDP was formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project).
  • He notes that intensity targets allow overall emissions to keep rising, even if production is more efficient.

Indeed, that distinction between intensity and absolute emissions is evident in Chevron's announcement.

  • “Global demand for energy continues to grow, and we are committed to delivering more energy with less environmental impact,” CEO Michael Wirth said.

By the numbers: Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company behind Exxon, said that by 2023, it would cut emissions intensity of its oil production by 5-10% and intensity of natural gas production by 2-5% by then.

What's next: More pressure on Chevron from activist investors. “The pressure is going to continue until they make a commitment to absolute emissions reductions that align with the science,” Sarda said.

  • One area to watch: Chevron, and several other majors, have not followed a small handful of European players including Shell and Total S.A. in setting goals for reducing emissions from the use of their fuels in the economy.
  • "Investor concern is not focused on operational emissions — which is what this [new Chevron] goal addresses — but on the carbon embedded in the industry's core products," Andrew Logan of the sustainable investment advocacy group Ceres tells me.

Go deeper: Sizing up Big Oil's clean tech moves

Go deeper

Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding into early December, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Driving the news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10. The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election, though funding did expire briefly before the bill was signed.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Updated 33 mins ago - Science

In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

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