Situational awareness: IHS Market vice chairman Daniel Yergin, a prominent oil analyst who hosts top Saudi oil officials at the big annual CERAWeek energy event in Houston, says he will not be attending the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.
Today marks 45 years since the release of The Who's "Quadrophenia," so one of those songs will take us into the weekend...
A recently formed group that's using veteran K Street insiders to push for a carbon tax spent $150,000 on lobbying in the third quarter, a disclosure filing shows.
Why it matters: The amount reported on March 16 by the heavyweight firm Squire Patton Boggs on behalf of Americans for Carbon Dividends is, needless to say, quite modest by beltway standards.
But that amount — which tallies the group's initial formal lobbying since its formation — is slated to increase along with other aspects of the much wider, 7-figure advocacy push, according to Ted Halstead, the group's CEO.
Background: Americans for Carbon Dividends is the recently formed advocacy offshoot of the Climate Leadership Council, whose leaders include James Baker and other GOP senior statesmen.
The big picture: The groups are pushing a plan that includes...
ICYMI: Americans for Carbon Dividends, backed by interests including the nuclear power operator Exelon and renewables companies, made headlines this month when ExxonMobil pledged $1 million over 2 years.
What's next: My eyes are peeled for the Q3 filing from the Alliance for Market Solutions Action, another group pushing for conservatives to embrace a revenue-neutral carbon tax married to repeal of regulations.
But, but, but: These filings don't capture all the lobbying action around CO2 taxes. For instance, Shell, which backs CO2 pricing, also lists the topic in its own reports.
Tesla announced Thursday night that it's now selling a somewhat less costly, $45,000 version of its Model 3 sedan that has a 260-mile range.
Why it matters: The mass-market Model 3 is critical to the Silicon Valley automakers' future and, more broadly, pushing electric vehicles into the mainstream.
But, but, but: It's less expensive than models currently available, which start at $49,000 and go up significantly from there. But still not the $35,000 base price offering initially pledged when Tesla first announced the Model 3.
Details: The new offering, according to Tesla, has a battery structure that's the same as pricier versions, but with fewer cells. It has a delivery time estimate of 6–10 weeks.
What they're saying: Over at Greentech Media, Julia Pyper notes that "Tesla supporters will likely see today's news as a positive development," and offers some important context...
FERC: Kevin McIntyre, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, may imminently step aside due to health problems, according to multiple reports.
S&P Global Platts reports that McIntyre is "widely expected" to at least temporarily transfer the chairmanship to Chatterjee, who was interim chair before McIntyre's confirmation. More from their piece...
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Zinke under scrutiny: Via the Washington Post, "Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s approach to his wife’s travel and activities sparked concerns among the department’s ethics officials, according to a report issued Thursday by Interior’s inspector general office."
The newest U.S. economic hotspot is not in or near Silicon Valley, New York, or any tech corridor, but in the Northern Plains — specifically oil-infused North Dakota.
What's happening: This region, in the middle-north of the country, leads the nation in a string of economic indicators since the financial crash, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution. And North Dakota is atop the bunch.
The region's prosperity has been driven in part by a massive expansion of shale oil and gas production in the Bakken region of North Dakota and elsewhere in the region.
Why it matters: Commentators often refer to the middle of the U.S. as a single entity, like "Middle America" or, more pejoratively, "flyover country." This makes the economic vitality of the Northern Plains all the more striking.
A much larger investment in deployment of existing energy efficiency technologies and stronger policy measures would enable major progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal, the International Energy Agency said in a new report.
Yes, but: Nothing of the sort is happening right now, and in fact progress in energy efficiency is slowing, IEA warned.
What they found: The report lays out an "efficient world scenario" (EWS) — one that enables in gains in buildings, transportation, industry and buildings — to help energy-related emissions peak in 2020 and then fall significantly.
"Our study shows that the right efficiency policies could alone enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach its climate goals without requiring new technology."— Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, via statement
By the numbers: The scenario envisions global investment of $584 billion annually through 2025, rising to $1.3 trillion annually in 2026–2040 — but nothing on that scale is happening today.
Put it all together and global energy intensity — an efficiency metric based on energy used per unit of GDP — fell by its smallest amount since 2010 last year, IEA said.
My thought bubble: The EWS scenario is more of a thought exercise than anything resembling the present or where things are headed, as the IEA's own data shows.
President Trump's surprising election in 2016 had a rather modest effect on how the market valued publicly traded fossil fuel companies in the short-term aftermath, according to a new paper from researchers affiliated with the nonpartisan Resources For the Future.
Why it matters: Despite Trump's campaign vows to promote fossil fuels — especially coal — and kill regulations, the limited investor response shows how other forces play a stronger role in the future of these industries.
The bottom line: When looking at the future of energy sources, don't overweight the importance of political events. The paper's authors, Thomas Sterner and Samson Mukanjari of the University of Gothenburg, offer more...