Situational awareness: A big energy fight is brewing in Canada after conservatives won Alberta's provincial election.
Onto music. Al Green had a birthday over the weekend, so that's a great reason for that brilliant performer to open today's edition...
U.S.-based electric bus maker Proterra is partnering with Japanese investment firm Mitsui to expand a program that slashes buyers' upfront costs — by allowing them to lease instead of buy the vehicle's battery, which is a major expense.
Why it matters: It's part of the wider evolution of the growing electric bus industry.
Driving the news: Mitsui is putting $200 million behind Proterra's leasing program in an effort to speed up North American sales growth. The 12-year leases include performance warranties and midlife replacement.
The big picture: Electric buses are competitive with internal combustion models over time, thanks to the absence of diesel fuel costs.
By the numbers: Proterra CEO Ryan Popple, whose company largely serves U.S. transit agencies, tells Greentech Media that leasing immediately ends the gulf between a $500,000 diesel bus and a $750,000 electric model.
The Proterra-Mitsui venture is the latest move in financing. Last year, bus maker BYD teamed up with Generate Capital to launch a program that enables leasing of electric buses.
Two years of wildfires, storms and floods that have caused at least $500 billion in global losses have finally helped to convince big investors of the vulnerability of their assets, Axios’ Steve LeVine reports.
What's happening: Big names on Wall Street are partnering with climate science groups to produce countrywide, property-level maps attempting to financially navigate the age of extreme weather-driven calamity.
The mini-frenzy among investors comes after years of ignoring warnings about momentous risks to their assets:
Why it matters: Their early conclusion is that Wall Street is underpricing the risk of intense heat, wildfires, drought, storms and floods to their investments.
The big picture: The BlackRock, Wellington and CalPERS initiatives also finally take account of an unignorable fact — some of history's biggest fortunes have been made opportunistically in times of chaos.
Here's an intriguing possibility: A Democratic presidential primary debate devoted exclusively to climate change.
Driving the news: Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, who is running a climate-focused (and longshot) campaign, last night asked the Democratic National Committee to set one up.
But, but, but: The DNC offered an extremely noncommittal statement last night, even as the party emphasized the topic's importance and said Republicans "refuse to even acknowledge that climate change is real."
"Democrats are eager to put forward their solutions to combat climate change, and we will absolutely have these discussions during the 2020 primary process."
"The DNC is currently ironing out the details for all 12 debates and will work with the networks to ensure that Democrats have a platform to discuss these issues directly with the American people."
The battery materials company Sila Nanotechnologies yesterday announced $170 million in Series E funding led by German auto giant Daimler AG and return backers including Bessemer Venture Partners and Chengwei Capital.
The big picture: The company is now valued at over $1 billion, CEO Gene Berdichevsky tells TechCrunch.
Why it matters: The company's technology uses silicon-based anodes instead of graphite as a way to create more energy-rich batteries.
What's next: Per the announcement...
Children's asthma attributable to traffic-related air pollution dropped substantially from 2000 to 2010, a new study in the peer-reviewed journal Environment International concludes.
What they did: The study combined a series of datasets to produce a granular nationwide analysis (check out the map above), focusing on the link between vehicle nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions and asthma.
What they found: A 33% drop over the study period. "[W]e estimated on average 209,100 and 141,900 attributable cases due to NO2 in 2000 and 2010, respectively, which accounted for 27% and 18% of all childhood asthma incident cases," the study finds.
The big picture: Co-author Haneen Khreis of Texas A&M University, writing in The Conversation, looks at what's behind the decline...
"There may be multiple causes, including more fuel-efficient vehicles, more stringent regulation on nitrogen oxide emissions and, potentially, reductions in total vehicle miles traveled due to the recession."
But, but, but: Despite the progress, Khreis notes that traffic is still making lots of kids sick, and that children in urban areas had twice the NO2-linked percentage of asthma compared to rural kids.
By the numbers: A new filing shows that Americans for Carbon Dividends paid K Street heavyweights Squire Patton Boggs $150,000 for lobbying in the first quarter.
But, but, but: Lobbying Disclosure Act reports are an imperfect look at the scope of the persuasion business.
What they're saying: “Our presence on the Hill has increased over the last several months and will continue to increase with time,” said Greg Bertelsen, SVP of Americans for Carbon Dividends.
Flashback: The advocacy campaign — in which lobbying is only one portion — launched last year with backers including the utility giant Exelon.