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Reproduced from Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago; Chart: Axios Visuals

The downturn in the Permian Basin, the heart of the U.S. oil patch, was large enough to cause a big drop in electricity use there, analysis from a University of Chicago energy think tank shows.

What they did: Their analysis looks at daily declines and fluctuation compared to a pre-COVID baseline (captured above), as well as the average drop-off since mid-March, which is 24%.

How it works: Oil production sites often use electric-powered pumps, so the shut-in of thousands of wells meant a big decline in power demand.

What's next: Prices are up since the period they looked at.

  • "But will this higher price lead to a quick U.S. oil production recovery? Keep your eye on electricity use data, which may be our best leading indicator of whether U.S. oil production will recover anytime soon," it states.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Sep 3, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Natural gas remains the big question in Biden’s climate change plan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden has the most aggressive climate-change plan in presidential-election history, but he continues to evade the dicey topic of natural gas.

Why it matters: Natural gas, mostly derived from the controversial extraction process called fracking, is filling an increasingly large role in America’s energy system. It’s cleaner than oil and coal, but is still a fossil fuel with heat-trapping emissions.

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The beginning of the beginning for Biden's climate push

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.