Feb 2, 2018

Under investor pressure, Exxon issues climate analysis

ExxonMobil released today an analysis for how its oil and natural gas resources would fare in a carbon-constrained world.

Why it matters: The analysis is the latest in a string of moves by publicly traded oil companies in response to investor pressure to disclose the risks that action on climate change poses to their fossil-fuel products.

Highlights:

  • Less than 5% of Exxon’s total value is represented by oil and gas resources that “may not be attractive investments” in a world that cuts greenhouse gas emissions the necessary amount to keep temperatures below a 2-degrees Celsius, the analysis says.
  • Low-cost producers are likely to fare better than others in a carbon-constrained world, said an analyst who has reviewed the report.
  • “This may validate the company’s historically strict capital discipline relative to some of its bigger-spending brethren,” said the analyst, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the report was just being released.

The big picture: There’s growing concern about the potential for oil and gas companies’ assets to become stranded in a world that drastically cuts greenhouse gas emissions, and in fact some environmentalists are pushing for this. Some oil executives reject this notion, but it’s nonetheless a key component of an overall debate about how fossil-fuel companies handle a transition to a lower-carbon world.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

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.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.