Situational awareness: "Oil prices [rose] on Tuesday as Venezuela’s opposition leader called on the military to back him to end [President] Nicolas Maduro’s rule and after Saudi Arabia said a deal between producers to withhold output could be extended beyond June to cover all of 2019," Reuters reports via CNBC.
And, yesterday marked the birthday of the late Tammi Terrell, whose work included memorable songs with Marvin Gaye before she died way too young. They'll open today's edition...
Beto O'Rourke said plenty about climate yesterday, Joe Biden said almost nothing, and it's not too early (ok maybe a little early) to explore what it all says about the packed Democratic 2020 fight.
Driving the news: O'Rourke released an aggressive plan that would set an "enforceable" standard of getting the U.S. to net-zero emissions by 2050 and calls for several trillion of dollars in investments over a decade.
My thought bubble: Biden may have an incentive to avoid running left on climate because ...
Known knowns and unknowns: Biden's campaign did not respond to inquiries about what place climate will have in his campaign or his thoughts on the GND.
What's next: The debates are coming up fast, and I'm wagering we're past the era where climate is mostly absent, so Biden will field the topic then if not sooner.
Now let's turn to O'Rourke, who made climate the topic of his first major policy proposal.
Keep reading for more on O'Rourke's proposal...
O'Rourke's plan calls for steps such as an end to new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and requiring that federal permitting decisions "fully account for climate costs and community impacts."
Big pieces include:
But, but, but: Lots of it would require new legislation, including a "legally enforceable" standard for achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Quick take: It's a mix of policy measures preferred by advocates of various stripes.
The intrigue: It doesn't address carbon pricing — via taxes or permit trading — head on, but seems to flick at the concept.
What they're saying: Environmentalists including the League of Conservation Voters praised the proposal, while 350.org gave it a mixed review.
Of note: O'Rourke hardly has an open lane on climate. Inslee issued a critical statement that notes at one point, "Beto O'Rourke will need to answer why he did not lead on climate change in Congress."
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is getting involved in the high-stakes fight between Chevron and Occidental Petroleum to buy Anadarko Petroleum, CNBC reports.
"Berkshire Hathaway has committed a $10 billion investment in Occidental Petroleum contingent on the company completing its proposed takeover of Anadarko Petroleum," they report.
Why it matters: The story notes that "Berkshire could make Occidental a more formidable suitor." Occidental is smaller than Chevron but is seeking to trump its bigger rival in the battle for Anadarko, which holds attractive acreage in the booming Permian Basin among other assets.
Go deeper: Anadarko may abandon Chevron for Occidental
It's no surprise that China is the world's largest electric vehicle market by far, but this chart above, constructed from DOE data, puts it in stark relief.
By the numbers: Via the "fact of the week" from DOE's Vehicle Technologies Office...
BP joined other oil giants in reporting lower Q1 profits as companies dealt with lower crude prices.
By the numbers: The U.K.-based multinational reported $2.36 billion in profits, down from $3.48 billion in the prior quarter and $2.59 billion during the same period last year.
But, but, but: Per Bloomberg, BP "hit the target on profit estimates in the first quarter as rising oil and gas production and strong trading results offset the effect of lower prices."
What they're saying: "[W]e produced resilient earnings and cash flow through a volatile period that began with weak market conditions and included significant turnarounds," CEO Bob Dudley said in statement.
Go deeper: BP's profit slump buffered by higher output, trading (Reuters)
Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), ranking member on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, is tapping 2 veteran energy and climate officials to lead the GOP's work on the new panel, Axios' Amy Harder reports.
Driving the news: George David Banks, President Trump’s former international energy and climate adviser, will be chief strategist.
The big picture: With control of the House, Democrats are seeking to put climate back on the front burner, with the new select committee expected to play a large role.
Background: Banks and Hall both worked on climate and energy issues in the George W. Bush administration.
A new post over at UC Berkeley's Energy Institute at Haas explores how economists who like carbon pricing are able to come to terms with its lack of traction.
The big picture: Hang around policy circles and you’ll find economists who want things that aren’t politically possible yet — and have misgivings about policies that are viable, like widespread state renewables mandates.
That brings me to the post by economist Meredith Fowlie, who says pricing backers like herself need to accept some "inconvenient truths" politically, even as they advocate for its role.
What's next: The GND, which downplays pricing, is animating discussion of federal policy options.
The bottom line: "It may pain economists to see carbon pricing cast in a diminished backseat role. But given the political realities, we should work within the constraints these realities impose. And focus more of our energies on designing the best-possible second best," she writes.
Solar: Tesla will announce it's selling solar panels and equipment "for up to 38 percent less than the national average price by standardizing systems and requiring customers to order them online," NYT reports.
Oil: "The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday obtained an asset freeze in connection with suspected fraudulent trading in Anadarko Petroleum Corp before the oil company agreed to be acquired by rival Chevron Corp," per Reuters.
EVs: The LA Times looks at Mayor Eric Garcetti's new sustainability plan that "imagines a city where, by the mid-2030s, 80% of the cars run on electricity or zero-emission fuel, 80% of the electricity comes from renewable sources and Angelenos drive 2,000 fewer miles each year than they do now."