Good morning! D.C. readers: Join Axios' Bob Herman Wednesday at 8am for Beyond 2020: Making Care Affordable on the future of health care and drug pricing.
Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,118 words/< 5 min. read.
Finally, today marks 35 years since Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band released "Born In The U.S.A.," so my favorite cut is today's intro tune...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Joe Biden unveiled a wide-ranging climate and energy platform for his 2020 campaign Tuesday, vowing to go "well beyond" former President Obama's policies at a time when he's facing skepticism on the left.
The big picture: It calls for achieving net-zero U.S. greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050. That top-level goal is within range of Gov. Jay Inslee's detailed plan, which calls for net-zero "as fast as possible" and by 2045 at the latest.
Why it matters: Biden is the early Democratic frontrunner and the stakes are high as President Trump unwinds existing policies.
Yes, but: Several key portions would require legislation. That's a big lift unless Democrats regain the Senate, and ease filibuster rules or use special budget-related legislation that could allow provisions to pass with a simple majority.
On the legislative front, Biden calls for a bill that creates "legally binding" emissions cuts with an "enforcement mechanism" to achieve the 2050 goal.
When it comes to executive actions, the proposal vows steps such as:
On the international front, Biden is vowing to go further than keeping the U.S. in the Paris climate deal. It calls for:
Biden's platform praises the Green New Deal, calling it a "crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face."
One big question: How much the sweeping plan will defuse skepticism from activists who were angered in early May when a Biden adviser suggested he would take a "middle ground" approach.
By the numbers: Some of the top-line figures and goals in the plan include...
What they're saying: The Sunrise Movement, a newly prominent group on the left flank of the green movement, offers cautious praise in a statement Tuesday.
Quick take, via Axios Science editor Andrew Freedman: The goals are generally in line with what the UN says is needed globally to meet the most stringent Paris target of 1.5 °C of warming compared to pre-industrial levels, which would be net zero global emissions by 2050.
Let's follow up on something my Axios colleague Steve LeVine recently looked at: the coming growth of electric SUVs and pickups.
Why it matters: Both types of vehicles are hugely popular with U.S. consumers. So the true mainstreaming of EVs, now a tiny market share, will eventually require batteries to power a chunk of this segment.
Where it stands: Check out the chart above. It's based on a recent note from the consultancy IHS Markit, which forecasts that fully electric SUVs of different stripes (especially little ones) are going to start taking off in coming years.
The big picture: The number of EVs of various types available in the U.S. market is set to mushroom, IHS projects.
Getting back to SUVs, their note states they expect U.S. electric SUV sales to grow to roughly 757,000 units, or nearly 60% of total EV sales, by 2026.
Where it stands: According to the consultancy BloombergNEF, trucks and SUVs account for over 50% of U.S. car sales, but just 19% of the current EV model offerings in the U.S. are SUVs.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Airlines are expecting their worst year since 2014, the auto industry has laid off more people than it has in a decade, and manufacturing is starting to contract across the globe, Axios' Dion Rabouin reports.
The bottom line: While economists are increasingly warning of a recession in 2020, the global slowdown in transportation and trade is upon the world right now — and this is bound to impact energy demand.
What to watch: The probability of an economic downturn in 2020 is at least 40% due to a falloff in auto sales, an increase in unsold inventory and weakness in government spending, Noel Perry, principal and economist for Transport Futures, told a transportation industry conference in April.
Natural gas: Via The Houston Chronicle, "Houston liquefied natural gas company Cheniere Energy has signed a pair of deals amid planned expansion projects at its export terminals in Louisiana and Corpus Christi."
Big Oil: "Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to shower its investors in money, pledging returns of $125 billion between 2021 and 2025 — twice as much as a decade earlier," Bloomberg reports.
Markets: Per Reuters, "Oil prices fell on Tuesday as an economic slowdown starts to dent energy demand, but markets won some support after Saudi Arabia said a consensus was emerging with other producers about extending supply cuts."