Good morning and welcome back to Generate! Please don't forget to sign up for the cool Axios Science newsletter — the next one will arrive in your inbox on Thursday, but only if you register here. Ok let's dive in . . .
My Axios colleague Amy Harder reports on the shifting plates of carbon tax advocacy:
Strange bedfellows: The Climate Leadership Council today announced its founding members, which include four of the world's biggest oil and natural gas producers, two environmental groups, and political leaders. The group plans to launch a unified push urging Congress to enact a carbon tax to address climate change.
Why it matters: The support of oil-and-gas majors — Exxon, Shell, Total, and BP — will be needed to get Republicans to back a policy that remains politically toxic. The coalition, which launched in February with the backing of conservative leaders from earlier GOP administrations, represents the most diverse set of interests pushing Washington on climate policy in a decade.
"We expect that when the moment is right, the companies will lend their lobbying weight to our plan," executive director Ted Halstead said.
Reality check: Big oil backing is a prerequisite, but it may not be enough with strong conservative opposition to a carbon tax from powerful groups like Americans for Tax Reform and Competitive Enterprise Institute. Plus, almost no elected Republicans back a tax.
Click here for Amy's story.
Let's spend a little more time with the idea that creating a carbon-free power system with renewables alone isn't practically or economically feasible, as we discussed yesterday in a story about a new paper published by a suite of prominent energy researchers.
Policy impact: This piece in MIT Technology Review explores how the Jacobson-led analyses have become a rallying point for some climate activists — and why that may be a problem.
What they're saying: The University of California's David Victor, a co-author of the paper, tells MIT Technology that he fears "wildly unrealistic expectations" and the "seeds of backlash" as advocates and even some lawmakers rely on Jacobson's work.
Go deeper: Chris Nelder's latest Energy Transition Show podcast that dropped yesterday explores the controversy with Christopher Clack, an author of the new study.
Here's some food for thought as Energy secretary Rick Perry testifies about the White House budget plan at several hearings starting today.
No substitute: The centrist think tank Third Way has a new post explaining why the private sector wouldn't replace President Trump's proposed pullback in funding for innovative energy tech.
Existing energy companies, meanwhile, devote a pretty small share of their own money to R&D...
It's the economy: The American Energy Innovation Council — a group of CEOs (plus Bill Gates) that works through the centrist Bipartisan Policy Center — is out with a detailed report today making the economic case for robust federal support for energy innovation programs.
AEIC recommendations include: Investing $16 billion per year in advanced energy innovation; funding the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy at $1 billion per year; and, creating a federal "New Energy Challenge Program."
Programming note: I'll be moderating a panel this afternoon at their event on Capitol Hill that features keynote remarks by GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, who heads the Appropriations subcommittee on energy.
Big oil: Wood Mackenzie's latest podcast explores Exxon's big announcement that it's moving ahead with production in the massive Liza field off Guyana's coast
Technology: S&P Global Platts latest Brussels to Beijing podcast explores how big European utilities are beginning to use blockchain technology for trading and why it's "completely new territory" for regulators.
Quoteable: The latest episode of the Columbia Energy Exchange has a wide-ranging conversation with Iain Conn, CEO of British energy giant Centrica.
Sizing up OPEC's positioning, Conn notes that the cartel's moves for market share are driven by a realization that "we are in the foothills of the endgame for oil."
Generate readers: I'm looking for recommendations on energy- and climate-themed podcasts. Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you like.
Oil: Bloomberg looks at the "fracklog" that could put further downward pressure on crude prices. "There were 5,946 drilled-but-uncompleted wells in the nation's oilfields at the end of May, the most in at least three years," they report, citing Energy Information Administration estimates.
Appliances: The EIA has published a look at Americans' use of dishwashers, which are less common in U.S. households than some other appliances (see above).
Natural gas: Forbes lays out the scope of EQT Corp.'s $6.7 billion deal to acquire Rice Energy, creating a Marcellus and Utica shale powerhouse.