Good morning and welcome back! Let's head for the weekend . . .
My Axios colleague Amy Harder looks at part of the Capitol Hill spending deal . . .
The budget bill Congress just advanced includes a narrow but important tax incentive that would support technology capturing carbon emissions from coal plants and other facilities.
Why it matters: It helps make the economic case for this type of technology, which established science says is essential in cutting greenhouse gas emissions to the level scientists say we must, but is currently too expensive in most instances. It’s also seen as key for coal’s long-term viability in a world combating climate change.
Go deeper: A bit more in the Axios stream.
Go deeper: Via Utility Dive, the spending deal also has several other energy-related tax credits. That includes extension of the availability of a key nuclear credit that could help power giant Southern Company’s troubled project to build two new reactors in Georgia.
A new analysis by the Climate Impact Lab explores how global warming will hurt skiing opportunities in the U.S. It looks at how some major ski towns will see fewer below-freezing days in decades ahead under different emissions levels.
More from the report:
* * *
Solar costs: A new paper by National Renewable Energy Laboratory researchers looks at the potential for bringing down solar costs by doing panel installations when roofs are replaced or during new home construction.
* * *
More climate: E&E News unpacks a new paper in the journal Nature which suggests that "removing fossil fuel subsidies might not have the global effect that some climate advocates were hoping for."
Falling: The oil price rally of recent weeks has gone into reverse of late. Via Reuters, prices are on track for their biggest weekly loss in 10 months as "record-high U.S. crude output added to concerns about a sharp rise in global supplies."
More context, via Bloomberg: "[F]ears that American shale production will outweigh efforts by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut global inventories have been brought back to the fore as data show U.S. output now eclipses Saudi Arabia’s."
Thanks to big discoveries in Guyana and additions in the Permian Basin and elsewhere, ExxonMobil announced yesterday that it added 2.7 billion barrels of oil-equivalent to its reserves in 2017, replacing 183% of its production.
Go deeper: We've got more here in the Axios stream about why the new data is a reversal of fortunes for Exxon.
* * *
Big picture: A note yesterday from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie takes stock of the global exploration picture in 2017.
By the numbers: Exploration added over 12 billion barrels of oil equivalent in "conventional"—that is, not shale—new field volumes in 2017.
Here's a few informative podcasts for doing whatever you do with headphones on . . .
1) Short on transportation's future: The World Bank's podcast has a concise conversation with Raj Rao, head of Ford Motor's "smart mobility" arm, about achieving sustainable urban transportation in the future.
2) Long on deep decarbonization: Greentech Media's podcast The Interchange features an hour-long chat with The Breakthrough Institute's Alex Trembath that goes deep on two broad and overlapping topics: "tribalism" in clean energy debates, and the tech and policy pathways that can achieve steep carbon cuts.
Breakthrough and its founders have criticized big green groups in years past, and the interview gets into everything from shifts in their tactics and posture to social media etiquette to what role nuclear power should have going forward.
3) The IEA's clean energy work: The latest episode of the Energy 360 podcast from the Center for Strategic and International Studies talks with David Turk, a top official at the International Energy Agency, about IEA's expanded work on helping nations transition to cleaner sources.
It includes some discussion of IEA's work with China on their plans for an expansive emissions trading system.
4) Big picture: The latest episode of Exchanges at Goldman Sachs looks at the "once in a generation" shift underway in the electric power sector worldwide.
"We’ll buy barrels back at higher prices after the next Mideast war and oil price spike. Saw this movie before, in ‘96 and ‘97 when we last sold SPR barrels to defray Washington’s Visa bill."— Oil analyst Bob McNally on Twitter
Behind the quote: He's responding to the Capitol Hill spending deal that raises money via sale of 100 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 2027.
According to Bloomberg, "Combined with other sales approved last year, that would mean the volume of oil in the reserve would fall by 45 percent, to about 303 million barrels."