Welcome back. Today's word count is 1,324 words, or a 5-minute read.
Situational awareness: World Central Kitchen is working to feed vulnerable people and help the badly distressed restaurant sector at the same time. You can donate here.
🎵 At this moment in 1977, Hall & Oates were atop the Billboard singles charts with a short piece of pop brilliance that's today's intro tune...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
This morning brings the news that the OPEC+ group will meet remotely Monday to discuss potentially steep production curbs, sending prices upwards on the prospect of easing the global glut as COVID-19 crushes demand.
Why it matters: The meeting, reported by multiple outlets, is the second concrete sign in two days of new coordinated efforts since the OPEC+ supply management alliance — led by megaproducers Saudi Arabia and Russia — collapsed a month ago.
But, but, but: There's still all kinds of hurdles and confusion!
Between the lines: Bloomberg reports that for the Saudis, "it’s essential that producers including the Americans join in."
The intrigue: This afternoon Trump is slated to meet with a group of U.S. oil executives from companies including ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as big independent producers like Occidental and Devon Energy.
What they're saying: "The administration will continue to engage with Russian and Saudi leadership, OPEC countries, and America’s energy industry to identify solutions that will help stabilize oil markets and the global economy," a senior Trump administration official tells Axios.
Meanwhile, prices surged yesterday morning after Trump tweeted the unsubstantiated claim that the Russians and Saudis were preparing for joint cuts of up to 15 million barrels per day.
The unprecedented demand collapse — not the supply picture — is the biggest force acting on oil markets right now. Even a potential international agreement on production will not send prices back to pre-pandemic levels.
What they're saying: "It's very positive that the world's top three oil producers are talking about stabilizing oil markets but demand declines from coronavirus impacts are casting a huge shadow in the oil sector," oil analyst Joe McMonigle tells S&P Global Platts.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that oil companies are eligible for aid from new lending programs the Federal Reserve is setting up, but not direct loans from his department.
Driving the news: GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who heads the Energy Committee, on Wednesday sent Mnuchin a letter urging him to consider the distressed industry for loans under the recently signed $2.2 trillion economic rescue bill.
Where it stands: Mnuchin, when asked about her request at a White House briefing, said he has "very limited ability to do direct loans out of the Treasury," and that he can provide only for specific sectors including airlines and national security companies.
But he added: "Outside of that, we work with the Federal Reserve to create broad-based lending facilities, which we will do."
General Motors and Honda will jointly develop two electric vehicles for Honda's product line that are slated for manufacture at GM's North American plants.
Why it matters: No company can go it alone when it comes to funding advanced technologies like electrification, per Axios' Joann Muller.
Details: Sales of the new vehicles are slated to begin in 2024.
The big picture: It's among a growing number of major corporate partnerships over EVs, such as Ford and VW's alliance, Toyota and Panasonic's joint battery development, Ford's work with the startup Rivian, and more.
But, but, but: GM and Honda are on different sides of the debate over auto emissions policy.
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Speaking of EVs, TechCrunch reports...
A new Brunswick Group survey finds a largely supportive public view of the oil-and-gas sector but also backing for attaching strings — including environmental restrictions — to potential federal aid.
What they found: As the chart above shows, most adults surveyed believe the industry has a mostly or somewhat positive effect on the U.S. economy.
But, but, but: 63% of respondents agree that financial assistance should be tethered to commitments to reduce pollution and invest more in "cleaner forms of energy."
The big picture: The polling comes as the industry, especially independent companies, face intense financial headwinds thanks to the collapse in demand and prices.
Threat level: Whiting Petroleum's Chapter 11 filing this week is just the first of a large wave of bankruptcies in the debt-laden U.S. sector if low prices persist, the consultancy Rystad Energy said Friday.
The same Brunswick Group survey shows varying levels of support for potential forms of aid for the distressed industry.
What they found: Few back the idea of easing environmental regulations. There's more support for federal crude purchases.
What we're watching: Today's White House meeting with oil producers and what potential steps the administration could take.