Energy & Environment

Why it matters: Ominous forecasts about the impact of climate change serve as the backdrop for the world — led by U.S. lawmakers and companies — to debate big action on the problem, which could upend energy systems and our way of life.

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Chevron's venture capital arm buys stake in nuclear fusion startup Zap Energy

Photo Illustration: Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Chevron is making a Series A investment in the three-year-old nuclear fusion startup Zap Energy, marking the latest foray by an oil-and-gas giant into companies outside a core business.

Why it matters: It's the first nuclear power investment from Chevron Technology Ventures, the company's in-house VC arm that's spreading money around a range of energy technologies.

The tough battle to regain clean energy jobs

Data: BW Research Partnership; Chart: Axios Visuals

The jobs rebound in clean energy sectors, broadly defined, slowed greatly last month, per a newly released analysis.

The big picture: Clean energy industries added just 3,200 jobs last month, far fewer than in June, according to the BW Research Partnership's analysis of unemployment claims.

IEA cuts oil demand forecast, citing "stalling" mobility

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The International Energy Agency has again lowered its projected global oil demand estimates, "reflecting the stalling of mobility as the number of COVID-19 cases remains high."

Why it matters: The agency's analysis Thursday is the first time in several months that IEA deepened its projection of the extent of the pandemic-driven demand collapse.

Wind and solar power hit record global market shares in first half of 2020

Reproduced from Ember; Chart: Axios Visuals

A steep decline in coal-fired power combined with rising wind and solar output drove the carbon-free sources to record global market share in the first half of 2020, per a new analysis from the environmental think tank Ember.

Why it matters: The report shows how the coronavirus pandemic is speeding the ongoing shakeup of the global power mix — but also how it's occurring too slowly to reach international climate goals.

Former EPA chiefs call for post-election agency "reset"

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler and President Trump at the White House in July. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Six former Environmental Protection Agency chiefs who served in Republican and Democratic administrations signed an open letter Wednesday calling for a "reset" of the agency after November's presidential election.

Why it matters: The letter from the bipartisan Environmental Protection Network, comprising over 500 former EPA senior managers and employees, expresses concern concerned about "the current state of affairs at EPA," without naming President Trump whose administration has rolled back several Obama-era environmental protections.

What Kamala Harris means for Biden's climate change plans

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joshua Lott/Stringer.

Sen. Kamala Harris' VP selection could heighten the ticket's focus on environmental justice while prompting fresh Trump campaign political attacks on Democrats' energy plans.

Why it matters: Her introduction comes in an election year that has seen more emphasis on climate change than prior cycles. One effect of the movement ignited by the police killing of George Floyd is a new focus on environmental burdens that poor people and communities of color face.

EIA revises forecast to steeper crude production drop

Data: EIA; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

This week is bringing new snapshots of how hard the pandemic hit the U.S. oil patch earlier this year and the difficult path ahead, even as demand is now haltingly returning and prices have recovered somewhat.

Driving the news: The U.S. Energy Information Administration yesterday offered its latest downward revision of its domestic crude oil production forecast.

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