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And happy birthday to the late Bob Marley, who brings us today's intro tune...
Ok, the State of the Union is always heavy on symbolism and spawns a thousand takes, so I'm just going to lean into it.
Details: Last night's address encapsulated the huge political gulf between the parties on climate change. In general, President Trump ignored global warming and his brief nod to energy celebrated the U.S. oil-and-gas boom. (It also had some factual problems, which we'll get to later).
Where it stands: The speech arrived as progressive Democrats are preparing to unveil a resolution that will put at least a little more meat on the bones of their calls for a sweeping Green New Deal.
Between the lines: There's not much, if any, middle ground here, which is another way of saying that last night showed why the 2020 elections will be so consequential.
Trump's claim that the U.S. is now a net energy exporter gets a "close, but no cigar" award.
Where it stands: The country was a net exporter of crude oil and petroleum products combined for a very brief period late last year, federal data shows.
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Trump also appeared to take credit for the emergence of the U.S. as an oil-and-gas behemoth when he noted that the country is the world's biggest producer of oil and natural gas.
But, but, but: The U.S. became the world's largest gas producer in 2009 (h/t to Bloomberg's Jennifer Dlouhy for pointing that out).
Yesterday Bloomberg reported on a draft copy of the resolution that AOC and Markey are preparing.
The intrigue: One wrinkle is that it doesn't call for a transition to 100% renewable electricity specifically (a goal in a prior template AOC had floated), but instead cites “clean, renewable and zero emission energy sources."
Why it matters: "The omission of a specific ban on fossil fuels is a nod to moderates who feared it was unfeasible and seen as too extreme and was a nod to labor unions who had concerns with the language," Bloomberg writes.
What they're saying: AOC's chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, yesterday responded via Twitter to the reports. He didn't deny them but sought to add some framing, such as...
"The resolution describes the 10-year plan to transform every sector of our economy to remove [greenhouse gases] and pollution. It says it does this through huge investment in renewables at WW2 scale (which was 40-60% GDP investments)."
Quick take: The 10-year ambition of the whole thing is a political and technological moonshot anyway, to say the least, so these differences aren't hugely important right now.
Go deeper: Renewables vs. zero-carbon
LNG: Via Reuters, "Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil Corp said on Tuesday they are investing in a $10 billion project to expand a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Texas, as companies race to meet global demand for the fuel."
Renewables: Per the Financial Times, "Nike has signed its first European clean energy deal with Iberdrola, the Spanish utility, marking the latest in a series of corporate power purchase agreements that have provided a boost to the renewables industry."
Electric vehicles: CNBC reports that Tesla has cut $1,100 from the price of the Model 3. "The second price cut to the Model 3 this year now brings the cost of its least expensive variant to $42,900, according to the company's website," they report.
Officials in China and the U.S., the world's 2 largest EV markets, could learn from each other about better guiding deployment of charging infrastructure, a new report argues.
Why it matters: The study released via Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy arrives as EV sales are rising fast in both countries, albeit from a small base compared to the overall auto market.
What they found: Deployment decisions unfold differently in the 2 countries, and the charging industries are growing largely independently of one another.
The intrigue: The report lays out ways in which the countries could learn from one another. A couple examples are...
OPEC is seeking to formalize its market management partnership with Russia and other producers, a proposal slated for discussion later this month in Vienna, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Why it matters: Plans to transform their existing, roughly 2-year-old oil supply management effort into something more durable signals how the U.S. production surge has upended oil markets and geopolitics.
Details: The WSJ, citing an unnamed OPEC official, reports that "under the current draft document, the alliance could last up to three years and wouldn’t be legally binding."
The intrigue: Proposals to turn the loose partnership often called OPEC+ into a more institutional arrangement have been a moving target for a while. In December, Russian energy chief Alexander Novak said it’s unlikely Russia and OPEC will create a formal, institutional structure.
The big picture: The return of the U.S. to the ranks of global oil behemoths in recent years has prompted OPEC and Russia to cooperate in an effort to bolster prices.
What's next: Per the WSJ, OPEC members and will meet with Russia and other non-OPEC producers to debate the idea in Vienna in 2 weeks, and hope to agree to a final deal in April.
Axios' Amy Harder reports that former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and IHS Markit vice chairman Dan Yergin teamed up on new joint report on energy innovation out today.
Why it matters: Innovation is an overused buzzword, but when the groups behind these 2 experts put their collective minds together, it’s worth reading.
The big picture: The groups issued the report commissioned by Breakthrough Energy Coalition, a diverse group of companies and philanthropists ranging from oil companies to Bill Gates.