Good morning. Today's Smart Brevity: 1,292 words, < 5 minutes.
🎵 This weekend marks 45 years since Rush released the album "Fly By Night," so with another RIP to Neil Peart, they'll play us into today's edition...
Photo: Lance King/Getty Images
BP says it's reorienting its business with new climate targets — including first-time emissions commitments for its products' use in the economy — and a new team to help countries, cities and other companies cut carbon.
Why it matters: It's the latest sign of how multinational oil-and-gas giants — especially European-headquartered players — are expanding climate pledges under intense pressure from activists and investors.
Driving the news: BP this morning announced it would "fundamentally transform" its business. The company rolled out...
By the numbers: BP said that its net-zero goal will encompass much of its emissions of all types, including Scope 3.
The intrigue: Beyond the specific targets, BP says it's changing its corporate posture.
The big question: Whether oil majors are truly readying to bail on the most powerful lobbying groups.
BP's new pledge could increase pressure on U.S. oil-and-gas giants that have been less active on climate than their European peers, one advocate tells me this morning.
But, but, but: Via Reuters, "Greenpeace said BP’s plan left many questions unanswered." Charlie Kronick of Greenpeace U.K. said in their piece...
"'How will they reach net zero? Will it be through offsetting? When will they stop wasting billions on drilling for new oil and gas we can’t burn?'"
What's next: Jason Bordoff, head of a Columbia University energy think tank, pointed out in this Twitter thread...
"BP will need to explain how new [oil-and-gas exploration and production] investments are consistent with net zero from all the energy it produces by 2050."
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
House Republicans will detail one pillar of their three-pronged climate plan on Wednesday, focused on capturing carbon emissions, Axios' Amy Harder reports.
Driving the news: The policies include subsidizing tree growth to build more wooden buildings, making permanent a subsidy for technology capturing CO2, and boosting federal support for that same tech.
Where it stands: The prioritization of climate change policies by top House Republicans is a sea change for a party whose leader — President Trump — dismisses the topic and whose members have either ignored or denied it for years.
But, but, but: Critics are likely to find fault in the details and also the big picture of the measure.
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Speaking of Congress, yesterday over two dozen Senate Democrats — including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — unveiled a broad framework that would require EPA to implement plans to achieve net-zero U.S. emissions by 2050, with interim targets along the way.
Quick take: The draft bill is pretty wispy, but I think you can see the influence of the cross-cutting Green New Deal concept, which tackles a suite of social and economic justice topics.
The New York Times explores roadblocks facing companies looking to use tax credits for industrial carbon available under existing law that House Republicans are seeking to extend.
The Energy Information Administration is trimming its 2020 oil demand forecast by 300,000 barrels per day, citing the effects of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Why it matters: It's the latest sign of how the outbreak is changing oil market forecasts and creating headwinds for a sector already struggling with middling prices.
Where it stands: Oil prices are up this morning, with the U.S. benchmark WTI back above $50-per-barrel, which Bloomberg attributes to "tentative signs that Asia’s coronavirus may be easing."
The intrigue: A range of estimates are emerging for how the outbreak could affect global oil consumption.
What's next: Tomorrow, the International Energy Agency will release its closely watched monthly market analysis.
Transportation: "Hyundai Motor Group said it will jointly develop an electric vehicle platform with Los Angeles-based startup Canoo, the latest startup tapped by the automaker as part of an $87 billion push to invest in electrification and other future technologies." (TechCrunch)
Natural gas: "U.S. shale gas producers are ripe for further spending cuts and write-downs, investors and analysts said, with prices at four-year lows and China’s rejection of some gas imports weighing on earnings." (Reuters)
Renewables: "Vineyard Wind’s trailblazing offshore wind farm for Massachusetts will not reach completion in 2022, with the developer bowing to reality after the federal government confirmed a later-than-hoped permitting deadline for the project." (Greentech Media)