If you've been intrigued by what we've been writing about the intersection between Big Tech and energy here and here, I recommend the new episode of The Energy Gang podcast, which smartly explores the topic and looks critically at Amazon's positioning.
Onto music. Happy birthday (2 days early) to The Cure's Robert Smith. Today works especially well for them to bring us into the weekend...
Newly released survey data shows an upward trend in concern about the effects of climate change over the last decade, even as public opinion lags behind the scientific consensus on human-caused warming.
The big picture: The 2008–2017 results from researchers with Yale and George Mason universities arrives as Democrats are emphasizing climate change in the 2020 election cycle more than prior contests.
What they found: Check out the chart above. It shows increases in concern, but also reveals that less than half of adults see climate change harming them personally.
The data also shows Republicans and Democrats view risk of harm quite differently.
By the numbers: The new survey data arrives with a helpful interactive tool that lets you browse all kinds of opinion and demographic data. Here are just few more snapshots from the wide-ranging survey...
The intrigue: The data also shows demographic divides within parties. Here's one of them.
Go deeper: The findings, which also delve into climate communication strategies, are published here.
Yesterday brought fresh indications that the U.S. shale surge is cooling off a little.
Driving the news: The CEO of oilfield services giant Schlumberger listed "slowing shale oil production growth" among the reasons why he sees the oil market tightening.
Meanwhile, the weekly rig count report from GE unit Baker Hughes showed a dip since the prior report. So did separate data released by S&P Global Platts Analytics.
The big picture: As Reuters notes, the developments underscore financial pressures facing independent producers, even as behemoths ExxonMobil and Chevron plans major production growth.
What they're saying: S&P analyst Trey Cowan points out that in addition to the rig count data and Schlumberger's forecast, there have also been layoffs at some large independent producers.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday voted 3-1 to approve a pair of LNG export projects: Sempra Energy's Port Arthur project in Texas and Tellurian's Driftwood facility in Louisiana.
Why it matters: The decisions could signal FERC is slated to approve even more projects after a separate decision in February that marked the commission's first such green light in 2 years.
But, but, but: Bloomberg quotes an analyst who cautions that the FERC approval doesn't guarantee the projects will move forward.
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A couple more petro-related items on my screen...
Lobbying: A newly posted filing shows that the Caryle Group, the huge private equity player, retained the firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.
Discoveries: Exxon yesterday announced another discovery off the coast of Guyana, the latest in a string of finds that the company says already total around 5.5 billion barrels of oil-equivalent in this region alone.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
With CEO Elon Musk already declaring "game over" in self-driving cars, Tesla plans to pull back the curtain on its Autopilot technology for investors next week.
Why it matters: Many technological and regulatory hurdles remain before automated cars are deemed ready to replace human drivers. Musk's premature victory lap runs the risk of confusing consumers and frustrating regulators while potentially setting back the automated vehicle industry, Axios' Joann Muller writes.
What's happening: Ahead of its first quarter earnings report expected on Wednesday, Tesla is inviting investors to its Palo Alto headquarters Monday for test drives to experience automated features still under development.
Details: Tesla declined to comment ahead of the presentation, but Musk himself provided a roadmap in a fascinating podcast interview last week with MIT researcher Lex Fridman.
Go deeper: Read Joann's full story later this morning and subscribe to Axios Autonomous Vehicles here.
Axios' Andrew Freedman reports ... NASA's global temperature data set, which has found that the past 5 years have been the warmest on record, has received new and independent validation of its readings, per a new study.
Why it matters: The research bolsters confidence in NASA's data set, which climate-change doubters have been trying to poke holes in for years, in part because it tends to find greater Arctic warming than NOAA. The study also signals how global observations might be conducted in the future.
What they did: Researchers took 2 global surface temperature data sets generated from independent instruments — based on land and in space — and compared them for the first time.
What they found: AIRS data closely matched the Goddard observations during the period of overlap, from 2003 through 2018, except for one key detail.
The satellite data shows greater warming in the Arctic, particularly across the data-sparse Arctic Ocean, suggesting GISTEMP may be underestimating global warming there.
Thanks to declining wind and solar costs, states like Idaho, Colorado and New Mexico have made plans to retire old coal plants early — paving the way for deeper penetration of clean energy, writes Axios Expert Voices contributor Justin Guay.
The big picture: At least 36 gigawatts (GW) of the country's 260 GW of existing coal generation are forecast to close by 2024, continuing the trend from last year's record 15 GW of coal retirements. These transitions are often moving ahead without political pressure and in states that lack renewable energy mandates.
Context: Coal plant retirements are likely to accelerate in the years ahead, even in the absence of federal climate policy efforts associated with a Renewable Portfolio Standard or the Green New Deal, according to a recent study from Energy Innovation.
Guay directs global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project and advises the ClimateWorks Foundation.