Good morning, and welcome to the last week of February. We're almost 1/6 the way through 2018! Time flies doesn't it? Let's dig in.
My latest Harder Line column looks at tensions between the Trump administration and oil and gas industry. I'll preview that, and then hand the reins back to Ben to get you up to speed on the rest of the news.
The oil and natural gas industry is running into a rough patch with President Trump.
Why it matters: A Republican president who promotes American energy dominance should be good for oil and gas producers. But instead, conflict is escalating over trade, ethanol and offshore drilling.
“Now that Trump has tax reform, he’s going to be doing things more unilaterally and the concern levels are starting to rise,” said Bob McNally, president of the consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group and former adviser to President George W. Bush.
The big picture: The tension threatens to override Trump's positive rhetoric and regulatory rollbacks elsewhere in the administration. Today’s conflicts are more wide-ranging than last year’s main battleground: Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s failed plan to boost coal and nuclear power plant revenues in the name of grid resiliency. Gas producers opposed Perry’s proposal, fearing it would undercut their fuel’s advantage in power markets.
Drill down for the rest in the Axios stream here.
American actor Chadwick Boseman poses for the European premiere of "Black Panther" in central London. Photo: Tolga Akmen / AFP / Getty Images
Hoping life imitates art: Two Brookings Institution analysts say the acclaimed smash movie "Black Panther" offers lessons for how African countries can transform energy and mineral deposits into lasting public benefits.
Why it matters: The movie is putting fresh attention on how to mitigate or avoid the "resource curse"— the poverty, conflict, and corruption in many resource-rich nations in Africa and elsewhere.
Two real places to watch: Exxon has found massive oil fields off Guyana's coast in South America, while automakers need increasing supplies of cobalt from the Democratic Republic of Congo for batteries for electric vehicle expansion.
Yes, but: This Bloomberg Gadfly column, which also uses Black Panther as a hook, explores why Congo faces high hurdles to translating its cobalt bounty into a broader public good.
Listen deeper: The latest International Monetary Fund podcast looks at a more recently recognized problem: the "presource curse" that can hinder economic growth in countries after petroleum discoveries but before any production occurs.
The colors look cool: Bloomberg New Energy Finance has released a comparison of upward revisions in long-term EV projections from some of the big long-term global forecasts.
What they agree on (and don't): Colin McKerracher, a top BNEF analyst, has a blog post alongside the chart that explores why his shop sees much more growth than the other forecasts, and even BP's relatively large projection:
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Speaking of EVs: The Financial Times has an in-depth weekend piece on the competition among automakers to secure supplies of lithium, cobalt and other raw materials for EV batteries.
Out today: The nonprofit Alliance for Market Solutions released new polling on millennial attitudes about the reality of human-induced climate change and efforts to combat it.
By the numbers: Here's a few takeaways from the polling conducted for the Alliance, a group pushing for conservatives to embrace a revenue-neutral carbon tax married to repeal of regulations.
Quoted: Alliance executive director Alex Flint said the findings show that policymakers should consider "forward-looking solutions."
ICYMI: President Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that "we've ended the war on beautiful, clean coal" and talked up conditions in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming.
Reality check: Two closer looks at his comments are worth reading for context. One is this series of tweets by S&P Global Market Intelligence expert coal reporter Taylor Kuykendall, who notes...
Another look: "Coal has not come roaring back and West Virginia's economy, in particular, still struggles," the Associated Press reports.
Trump reenters RFS fray: The president is slated to have lunch today with VP Mike Pence, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. On Tuesday, several senators will meet with Trump, Pruitt and Perdue about the topic.
Natural gas: A House Natural Resources panel will hear from executives with major LNG export companies and other experts at a hearing Tuesday on the growing U.S. role in global gas markets.
Infrastructure: A House Energy and Commerce panel gathers Tuesday for a hearing on energy infrastructure. The witness list and GOP background memo is here.
More infrastructure: The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee gathers Thursday to discuss the White House infrastructure plan, which seeks to speed up environmental reviews and permitting for pipelines and other energy projects.
Cybersecurity: A Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Thursday will explore "private sector and government challenges and opportunities to promote the cybersecurity and resiliency of our nation’s critical energy infrastructure."