Good morning! Let's head for the weekend . . .
Good morning! Let's head for the weekend . . .
Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, the former chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee, will announce today that he's joining the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.
Why it matters: He is by far the most prominent and high-profile GOP lawmaker with jurisdiction over energy policy to join the 2-year-old House group.
Quoted: “When it comes to climate change we must take an economically realistic and pragmatic approach,” Upton said in a statement, adding that the group provides a "tremendous opportunity" to work across the aisle.
Yes, but: The caucus has faced persistent criticism from the left that it's a paper tiger, given the participation of some GOP lawmakers who have opposed greenhouse gas regulation or disputed mainstream climate science.
What's next: As we noted in Generate last week, GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, the group's co-chairman, told the publication Yale Environment 360 that he wants the group to begin offering policy proposals in this Congress or the next one.
Situational awareness: President Trump speaks this morning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, at 8am ET. Keep an eye on the Axios stream for coverage.
The dinner: Trump's dinner meeting last night with European business execs included the CEOs of two Europe-based multinational energy giants, Total and Statoil, that have U.S. operations.
Buzz: In theory there was plenty to disagree over — for instance, both of the oil-and-gas companies back the Paris climate deal that Trump is abandoning. But a White House transcript of the public-facing remarks is heavy on areas of agreement.
Both Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne and Statoil boss Eldar Sætre talked up their U.S. investments and praised the new tax law, and Sætre told Trump that "what you're doing on regulations is good news."
Solar trade: ICYMI, former VP and climate activist Al Gore spoke yesterday about the White House decision to impose tariffs on solar panel equipment imports. “I don't typically defend him. [But] I will say, in this case, it really did not start with him," Gore said.
He noted the tariffs were in response to a petition from 2 manufacturers. The White House penalties are not as strict as the companies requested. "They chose a kind of midpoint in the range of alternatives ... It could have been handled differently, should have been handled differently, but it's not an utter catastrophe," Gore said.
A new Pew Research Center poll provides more data underscoring the partisan gulf on global warming.
Check out the chart above — it shows that the share of Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults who want climate change to be a top priority for Congress and the White House has grown to 68%, compared with 18% of Republicans and Republican leaners.
Why it matters: The deep partisan divide is among the reasons why U.S. policy has been far less activist on climate than most industrialized nations, despite robust scientific evidence of dangerous climatic changes underway.
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A couple of other climate notes . . .
Going big: My colleague Zachary Basu reports that a popular website is going big on the topic.
China: A new Rhodium Group research note estimates that after 2 years of decline, China's energy-related carbon dioxide emissions grew by between 2.2% and 4.1% last year.
The GOP chairwoman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee answered a few questions after a hearing yesterday on advanced vehicle technologies...
EVs and infrastructure: Murkowski said she's open to having electric vehicle charging infrastructure be included in some fashion in the wider infrastructure package that the White House wants Congress to pass, perhaps via some form of incentives.
Why it matters: A build-out of charging networks to ensure drivers are confident that they can replenish their batteries is one piece of the puzzle for expansion of EVs, which are now a tiny fraction of the global vehicle fleet.
She said it's important to avoid building only infrastructure that suits today's needs.
Go deeper: Click here for more of Murkowski's comments in the Axios stream.
Tough out there: CNBC reports on Tesla's problems scaling up production of the Model 3, the mass-market EV that's critical to the company's future.
Speaking of EVs: Via Reuters, the VW-owned truckmaker Scania has pledged to invest 10 million euros ($12.5 million) in Northvolt's 4 billion euro ($5 billion) battery cell plant in northern Sweden.
EPA: Via The Wall Street Journal, "The Trump administration is withdrawing a decades-old air policy aimed at reining in some of the largest sources of hazardous pollutants like mercury and lead."
Coal: Quartz unpacks a new Moody's Investors Service report that concludes U.S. coal production's decline will continue absent more policy and investment backing.