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Now let's dive into the news. My latest Harder Line column picks up on a subtle but significant political shift: Climate change actually becoming a political worry for some Republicans. I'll share a glimpse of that, and then Ben Geman will get you up to speed on the rest of the news.
Climate change is starting to become a political worry for some Republicans.
The big picture: For years, Republicans could ignore the issue or outright question mainstream climate science without political worry. That’s starting to change. Some congressional Republicans are beginning to find it in their political interest to at least acknowledge climate change and oppose efforts to weaken existing policies.
The subtle but significant shift is fueled by disparate factors, including a stronger economy and President Trump’s dismissive policies on climate.
“Moderate Republicans running this cycle are going to look for places to distance themselves in some places and appeal somehow to the middle, and [climate] is a fairly safe issue to do so.”— Adrian Gray, Republican pollster
What they're saying: Unlike the backlash Republicans face for disagreeing with Trump on many issues, Gray says his polling shows that most Republican voters don’t penalize their lawmakers for acknowledging climate change is real and a problem, even though Trump openly mocks it.
This distinction comes despite the fact polling shows climate change remains a low priority for most voters, said Gray, who has done work for environmental groups.
Reality check: This political shift is by no means universal, and it isn't leading to broad support for policies. It's one thing to acknowledge climate change is real, but it's another, big step to put forward policies, and so far Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R- Fla.), who is introducing a carbon tax bill today, is an outlier.
Go deeper: Read the full column in the Axios stream here.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a 2017 press conference in Tehran. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images
Crude oil prices are rising Monday after a charged exchange between Trump and Iran's leaders.
The big picture: It's the latest sign that geopolitical tensions will keep fueling market volatility despite plans by OPEC and Russia to boost output.
Driving the news: Trump tweeted an explosive, all-caps threat directed at Iran's president Hassan Rouhani late Sunday.
ICYMI: Rouhani yesterday had warned Trump, "don’t play with the lion’s tail" and that "America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars."
Yes, but: There are several forces mitigating the extent of the price rise. For instance, analysts with Commerzbank note that new barrels from OPEC and Russia entering the market, as well as trade tensions and their potential downward pressure on demand, are limiting the price reaction to Trump's threats, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Go deeper: Trump's tweet and fury at Iran.
Congress: A few things on our radar during this busy week on Capitol Hill...
Policy: E&E News reports that a long-awaited Trump administration plan to scale back vehicle mileage and greenhouse gas emissions rules is slated to arrive this week. Bloomberg reports that it's coming "as early as" this week.
Money: Several of the world's largest publicly traded energy companies will reports their second-quarter earning this week — tallies that will reflect stronger crude prices in recent months.
Geopolitics: S&P Global Platts looks at new Capitol Hill efforts to impose sanctions against Russian energy projects.
Electric vehicles: Tesla's stock is down in pre-market trading after the Wall Street Journal reported last night that the automaker is "asking its suppliers for cash back to help it become profitable."The report is based on a memo viewed by the WSJ that the automaker sent to a supplier last week.
LNG: Bloomberg explores the risk that the growing U.S.-China trade war could spill into liquefied natural gas, which hasn't happened yet.
Axios' intern Henrietta Reily reports ... A new nonprofit is launching today that seeks to use emerging digital technologies like blockchain to advance energy and climate-change goals by giving consumers greater control over their electricity use while cutting government regulation.
The details: The organization — called the Energy Consumer Market Alignment Project (EC-MAP) — aims to reduce government regulation to help consumer demand shape the energy sector like it does food or clothing.
The nonprofit was founded and is led by Tom Hassenboehler, who most recently served as a top energy adviser for the House Energy and Commerce committee.
Supporting the group are officials from across the political and policy spectrum:
Why now: Harnessing information through blockchain, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will "empower consumers to have more choices to meet their energy needs," Hassenboehler said in a statement.
Read more in the Axios stream.
Second quarter lobbying reports are rolling in, offering a snapshot of how much various companies and groups are spending plus a sense of their policy interests. Here are a few from the oil and gas industry tallies (I'll look at other sectors in a future edition)...
The American Petroleum Institute, the industry's biggest trade group, reported $1.76 million for the April–June period, a slight dip from the $1.81 million in Q1.
Chevron reported $2.55 million, compared to $3.09 million in Q1.
ExxonMobil reported $2.73 million, down from $3.14 million last quarter.
BP reported $1.22 million, a drop from the $1.63 million in Q1.
ConocoPhillips spent $460,000 on lobbying last quarter, well below the $1.15 million from the prior three months.
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, the big refining industry group, reported almost $828,000 — a slight boost.