Energy
Steve LeVine 12 hours ago
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The U.K. gets into the battery race
The Faraday Institution will be housed in this building at Harwell in England. Photo: Harwell.

The U.K. has launched itself into the global race for a super battery, allocating $108 million for a new research center with the goal of competing with the U.S., China and others for a piece of the future electric car industry.

Quick take: By opening the Faraday Institution just south of Oxford, the U.K. joins a race that has been going on for a little less than a decade, pitting it against research and industry leaders China, Japan, South Korea and the United States.

Ben Geman 16 hours ago
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Why U.S. crude exports just surged again

U.S. crude oil exports jumped back above two million barrels per day in the week ending Feb. 16, which is just the second time this level has been reached since heavy restrictions ended in late 2015.

Data: Energy Information Administration; Chart: Axios Visuals

The last jump: It came in the weeks after Hurricane Harvey took a lot of refinery capacity offline, according to Energy Information Administration data.

Amy Harder 18 hours ago
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Carbon capture coalition expands & rebrands
Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Four dozen companies, trade organizations and interest groups are announcing Friday a broad coalition pitching technology that captures carbon emissions from an array of industrial facilities.

Why it matters: The technology at hand is considered essential to cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to the level scientists say is needed, and the coalition being announced Friday represents an unusually broad support network for any policy, let alone one as divisive as climate change.

Amy Harder Feb 22
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Scoop: Top Energy Department adviser to depart
Workers leave the Departent of Energy in D.C. Photo: Washington Post/Getty

Travis Fisher, a political appointee at the Energy Department who oversaw a high-profile electricity study, is leaving the agency, according to an administration official.

Why it matters: Departures of top advisers always matter. And in this case Fisher’s time at the agency was marked by controversy surrounding Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s divisive proposal to boost economically struggling coal and nuclear power plants.

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Gowdy seeks answers from Pruitt over frequent first-class flights
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has written a letter to Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, seeking answers about his frequent first-class travel that has been publicly scrutinized, the Washington Examiner reports.

Why it matters: Concerns from the outgoing South Carolina congressman signal that the questions surrounding Pruitt's travel expenditures are extending beyond Democratic criticism and into an actual GOP-led inquiry. Amid the scrutiny, Pruitt recently blamed the "very toxic environment politically" and security decisions for his expensive flights.

Ben Geman Feb 21
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Experts disagree on the pace of electric vehicle adoption

This chart from BP's big outlook yesterday provides a look at how their greatly increased projection of global EV adoption stacks up against some other major forecasts:

Reproduced from BP Energy Outlook 2018; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: The contrasting outlooks show how even experts in the field can differ significantly about how quickly the electrification of transport will unfold. The pace of EV adoption is among the factors that will dictate how quickly global oil demand eventually peaks and declines, which by turn affects global carbon emissions.

Ben Geman Feb 21
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Poll: Americans don't want self-driving cars

More than half of U.S. adults are uncomfortable with self-driving vehicle technology and would be unlikely to use it on a daily basis (though younger Americans are more positive).

Data: Northeastern University/Gallup survey conducted Sept. 15-Oct. 10, 2017; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Many automakers — ranging from the largest car companies to newer entrants like Waymo and Tesla — are making big bets on autonomous driving technology, which is also expected to help drive the expansion of electric vehicles. Public hesitation could hamper widespread commercial deployment of both technologies in the years and decades ahead.

Ben Geman Feb 20
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BP boosts electric car outlook but says oil isn't going away

BP has increased its long-term forecast for the rise of electric vehicles and sees a potential peak in global oil demand within two decades, but is nonetheless warning that even the more bullish scenarios they modeled will not lead to a collapse in oil consumption.

The forecast is in its just-published 2018 Energy Outlook, a big collection of scenarios for global fuels, power and emissions trends through 2040.

Reproduced from BP Energy Outlook 2018; Chart: Axios Visuals

Bottom line: The "evolving transition" scenario sees growth in global demand for liquid fuels (largely a proxy for oil) ending in around 2035. More aggressive scenarios, including one that models global ban on sales of internal combustion (ICE) vehicles starting in 2040, show a more aggressive move away from oil, as the chart above shows.

Amy Harder Feb 20
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Column / Harder Line
Tackling climate change when Trump won’t talk about it
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

President Trump and his administration have gone to extreme lengths to wipe climate change from the U.S. federal government’s lexicon and question whether it’s a real issue at all. That’s got people working to tackle the problem wondering, paradoxically, how to make progress without the Trump administration acknowledging it.

The bottom line: A surprisingly large amount of progress is being made, actually, including on certain federal policies, within corporations and by local governments. Ultimately, though, the scale of the problem needs not only federal acknowledgment but also concerted backing.

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Pruitt nixes Israel trip amid scrutiny over travel expenses
Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt at White House press briefing. Photo: Cheriss May / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has postponed a planned trip to Israel that was to last almost a week, The Washington Post reports, citing agency officials.

Why it matters: Pruitt is under intense scrutiny over the cost of his travel, including numerous first-class and charter flights at the expense of taxpayers. Last week, he blamed the "very toxic environment politically" and security decisions for his expensive flights. Per The Post, Pruitt was slated to arrive in Israel on Sunday and stay at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem until Thursday for state business.