Good morning and welcome back to Generate! A quick reminder to keep an eye on the Axios stream on GOP's health care repeal efforts, budget maneuvers, and, of course, energy.
Ok, let's dive in . . .
Interior nomination: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture yesterday on the nomination of lobbyist David Bernhardt to be the deputy secretary of the Interior Department, which sets up a vote in the coming days.
EPA nomination: The White House said yesterday that it's tapping Michael Dourson to be the Environmental Protection Agency's top chemicals regulator. Dourson is currently a professor in the Risk Science Center at the University of Cincinnati's College of Medicine and is a founder of the nonprofit consulting firm Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment.
On tap Tuesday:
Breaking Tuesday morning: The House GOP released their fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, with aspirational, nonbinding language calling for cuts in applied R&D at the Energy Department and preventing the DOE from issuing new loans under its loan guarantee program. The Budget Committee will mark up the measure on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, it contains a $5 billion reconciliation instruction to the Natural Resources Committee. But it's not immediately clear what legislation that committee's lawmakers might seek to meet it, such as raising money by opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.
India aspires to have all new vehicles being sold by 2030 to be electric ones. A new study take a look at this goal...
Details: A recently published paper from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds the goal — which is "technically attainable" due to falling battery costs — would add only 6% to the country's peak electricity demand.
Benefits include additional revenue for the nation's power companies to the tune of roughly $10 billion annually, and lowering carbon emissions "significantly," especially if the nation meets its renewable energy goals in the Paris climate deal (check out the "NDC" scenario in the chart above). It would also help smooth the integration of renewable electricity sources onto India's grid, the paper finds.
Why it matters: India is the world's third-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China and the U.S., and policies that enable economic expansion without a surge in carbon emissions are key to slowing global warming.
Carol Browner, a top White House climate and energy official under former President Obama, has a wide-ranging chat on the latest Columbia Energy Exchange that should bring back memories for anyone remembering the 2009-2010 fight over cap-and-trade.
In retrospect: At one point she notes the problems with the push for an economy-wide bill (which ultimately collapsed in the Senate after passing the House) and wonders if a different strategy might have worked.
Yes, but: Browner also muses about a silver lining:
There's also plenty from Browner, who also was former President Clinton's EPA chief, on the economic case for the kinds of regulations that President Trump's EPA is trying to scuttle.
OPEC: The new edition of the Platts' OPEC Outlook podcast explores what former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher's new song has to do with OPEC's current quandary.
But seriously, stay for a smart and concise preview of the upcoming July 24 meeting of the monitoring committee overseeing the production-cutting deal between OPEC and other producers, notably Russia.
Gulf of Mexico shallow waters: A pair of new Wood Mackenzie podcasts (available here) look at recent developments in the shallow water Gulf, both on the Mexico side, where a number of firms have announced some big discoveries, and on the U.S. side.
Russia: The latest offering from the Center for Strategic and International Studies' podcast series is a wide-ranging discussion of the geopolitics of Russian energy. One of the things it talks about is Russia's work with OPEC producers on the production-limiting agreement. Several things are motivating Russia's involvement.
Axios reporter Amy Harder has a stark reminder for all the talk about the Energy Department's grid study coming up. Take it away...
Quoted: "It's pretty clear to everyone that right now in the PJM region, and it's also true elsewhere, that the lowest cost set of resources are natural gas, combined cycle, power plants," said Stu Bresler, senior vice president for operations and markets at PJM Interconnection, an East Coast regional electric transmission organization.
Why it matters: Bresler's comments echo almost every expert everywhere, including those in the DOE, according to its own leaked draft of the grid study. The only people who can't seem to admit this truth is Trump administration officials, who have said many times that it's environmental regulations and subsidies for renewable energy that are driving the knife into coal and nuclear power.
My thought bubble: The administration will have a hard time simultaneously backing competing fuel sources in the zero sum game that is America's power market. Check out my latest Harder Line column on this topic for more.
Oil: The latest Energy Information Administration monthly report on U.S. shale oil anticipates that production will be 113,000 barrels higher per day in August than July, with increases forecast in all the major shale-producing regions.
OPEC: "Ecuador has dealt a blow to OPEC unity by announcing it will start raising oil production this month, arguing it needs the money," Bloomberg writes.
Tesla: The company announced yesterday that it has two new board members. They are Linda Johnson Rice, chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing, and 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch.
Climate change: California lawmakers approved a plan Monday slated for Gov. Jerry Brown's signature that will extend the state's cap-and-trade program until 2030. The Los Angeles Times reports that the vote "included unprecedented Republican support for fighting global warming."
Solar: More California news — the Financial Times has a deep dive into the state's big solar market and how regulators deal with excess supply that sometimes arrives on the grid.
The DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory didn't let yesterday's World Emoji Day go by unnoticed.