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Category 4 Hurricane Ida after making its two landfalls in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2021. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Hurricane Ida has left over 1 million homes and businesses without power, mostly in Louisiana, after making landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm on Sunday.

Driving the news: Ida also greatly disrupted Gulf of Mexico and Gulf coast oil-and-gas and petrochemical operations, but the full scope of the damage — and environmental hazards — will take time to assess.

The big picture: All of New Orleans lost power last night after Entergy, the utility that serves the city, said the storm's "catastrophic intensity" knocked transmission offline. Some areas may be without power for weeks, it said.

  • On the oil-and-gas front, as of Sunday, 97% of Gulf of Mexico oil production and 94% of natural was shut down in advance of the storm and companies evacuated many workers, per the Interior Department.
  • At least nine refineries in Louisiana halted or reduced operations in advance of the storm, accounting for around 2.3 million barrels per day of capacity, or 13% of the U.S. total, per the Energy Department.
  • Colonial Pipeline, the huge eastern U.S. fuel artery, temporarily shut lines that run from Texas to North Carolina as a precautionary measure.

What we're watching: The human and environmental toll, but also the market effects as refineries assess the damage and restart timelines.

Yes, but: Oil prices have not surged despite the outages. That's likely due to several factors, including...

  • Supplies in storage and traders are not expecting prolonged offshore production and transportation disruptions despite damage to regional port infrastructure.
  • The Gulf's share of U.S. oil production has fallen thanks to the shale boom. Also, the Delta variant's spread is bearish for prices.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Dec 1, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Exxon sets new emissions goals for 2030

An Exxon Mobil Corp. gas station in Falls Church, Virginia. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Exxon on Wednesday unveiled 2030 greenhouse gas targets as it faces investor and activist pressure to do more on climate.

Driving the news: They include a 20%-30% cut in corporate emissions intensity — that is, emissions per unit of output — and a 40%-50% intensity cut in oil-and-gas exploration and production.

Updated 40 mins ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker

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