It's also the birthday of Talking Heads drummer and co-founder Chris Frantz, so they've deservedly got today's intro tune . . .
Get ready: President Trump, facing a May 12 deadline, says he'll announce his plans for the Iran nuclear deal today at 2pm ET.
Why this matters: Trump opposes the deal and at some point he's widely expected to reimpose sanctions designed to restrict Iranian crude sales to other buyers (the U.S. does not import Iranian oil).
No matter the decision, there's likely to be little near-term supply effect.
Big picture: “[It] is not clear whether the US will exit the Iran deal altogether or offer a window for negotiation with other signatories. Further, even if sanctions are re-imposed, the impact on the oil market may not be immediate and we tentatively expect that several hundred thousand barrels of Iranian exports could eventually be at risk,” Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note Tuesday.
Be smart: Barclays analysts say in a note that the Iran deal is ultimately ka-put under Trump but that he has options...
The bottom line: Either way, Barclays' Michael Cohen writes, the White House moves will put long-term upward pressure on prices, even if prices fall in the "benign" scenario.
Market uncertainty: In the short term, however, oil prices, which have been trading at their highest levels in well over three years, dropped slightly Monday after Trump announced via Twitter that the decision would come today.
Warning signs: The May version of the Dallas Fed's monthly Energy Indicators report has a nice visualization of a challenge confronting oil producers in the surging Permian Basin — a looming pipeline capacity crunch.
Why it matters: The report says that while that's not currently limiting new barrels, production could "exceed transport capacity" sometime between mid-2018 and mid-2019 if new pipelines aren't brought online.
The context: Oil production in the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico is over 3.1 million barrels per day, according to Energy Information Administration data.
Driving the news: A House hearing today will offer a window onto the complicated political battles unfolding over electric vehicle and auto mileage policy.
Here are a couple takeaways from testimony prepared for the Energy and Commerce subcommittee session on EVs and conventional vehicles...
1. Warning: The head of Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers signals that the Trump administration should not freeze Obama-era mileage rules at 2020 levels.
That's an option reportedly under consideration as EPA and the Transportation Department prepare to roll back standards for model years 2022–2025.
2. Taxes: The American Petroleum Institute's testimony criticizes federal tax credits for EV purchases, saying these and other federal and state incentives "distort free markets."
3. Messaging: API's Frank Macchiarola pushes back against calling EVs "zero-emissions" and uncorks a phrase that's new to your Generate host.
New today: Renewables and natural gas groups are warning Energy Secretary Rick Perry that invoking emergency powers to prop up coal-fired and nuclear power plants would be illegal.
Quick take: The dense 12-page letter from 6 trade groups often reads like a court brief. It's a preview of litigation that would greet attempts to save economically struggling plants that could close in coming years.
The context: DOE is weighing a request from FirstEnergy Solutions to invoke emergency authority under the Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act to bolster ratepayer revenues for coal and nuke plants in the PJM region.
Yes, but: The protesting group writes: “FirstEnergy’s true problem is not that there is an emergency on the grid, but that its power plants lose money at current market prices."
Letter signatories: The group includes Advanced Energy Economy, the American Petroleum Institute, the American Wind Energy Association, the Electric Power Supply Association, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, and the Natural Gas Supply Association.
10.3 million: That's the number of global jobs in the renewable energy industry last year, according to a new report Tuesday by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The figure grew by 5.3% over the prior year.
Why it matters: It's the first time employment in the sector has crossed 10 million, marking a symbolic milestone that signals the real-world growth of the industries.
One level deeper: The report delves into the way China, which has aggressive government policies, is fueling the growth.
Getting out: Royal Dutch Shell is selling its shares in oil-sands producer Canadian Natural Resources for $3.3 billion, the company said Tuesday.
Getting closer: A potential Alaskan LNG export project took a step forward yesterday as the state-backed Alaska Gasline Development Corporation said it entered into a deal to purchase gas from BP's Alaskan operations.
Solar power: Via the San Francisco Chronicle, California officials are weighing a major new solar requirement.
EV: Tesla CEO Elon Musk is expanding his own stake in the company, buying nearly $10 million worth of additional shares, MarketWatch reports, noting that he was already the largest shareholder.