I'm feeling kind of sluggish today, so if you are too, here's a remedy: tomorrow marks the start of LL Cool J's one-week run atop the Billboard rap charts in 1991 with this song.
President Donald Trump. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
New data and analyses underscore both the promise and limits of President Trump's repeated claim that the U.S. should be an "energy dominant" country.
One factor: The Energy Information Administration said yesterday that U.S. crude oil exports hit a fresh record of 2.57 million barrels per day (mbd) last week — the highest level since the 2015 lifting of the crude export ban. U.S. overall crude production is also at record highs.
But, but, but: Attention to the shale oil boom should not eclipse the reality that despite the dominance rhetoric, the U.S. will remain tethered to wider global market swings, remains a big net crude importer, and Trump has limited effect on the country's output.
Why this matters: Despite the market-driven U.S. production surge, rising prices could create political problems for Republicans as gasoline prices head toward $3 per gallon.
Be smart: Over in our Expert Voices section, Eurasia Group CEO Robert Johnston looks at a paradox in Trump's approach to energy and his inability to back up his widely circulated claim that what he called "artificially high" prices "will not be accepted." Johnston writes:
Fun but serious too: The latest episode of Greentech Media's podcast The Interchange is a fantasy sports-style draft of the technologies best equipped to achieve the deep decarbonization of the global economy by 2050.
Why it matters: It's a useful way to discuss the options for trying to wring enough greenhouse gas emissions from power, transportation, and industry to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The picks: Co-hosts Shayle Kann and Stephen Lacey each got nine picks to assemble their teams. You can see the full breakdown here, but the first six technologies chosen overall were...
Some outside-the-box choices surfaced late in the draft, including augmented reality and fake meat.
State of the market: Brent crude oil prices reached a fresh three-and-a-half year high of $80 per barrel in trading Wednesday.
Iran sanctions squeeze: Total announced yesterday it would pull out of its $2 billion project to develop Iran's giant South Pars gas field unless it was granted a waiver to protect it from U.S. sanctions penalties, CNN Money reports.
Tough out there: The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that shale oil producers, for a bunch of reasons, are having a hard time making money.
Transitions: Per Bloomberg, the Spanish oil major Repsol "will no longer seek growth for its oil and gas business in preparation for the global transition to cleaner energy."
State of the industry: A detailed new report shows that employment in U.S. energy industries grew by 133,000 jobs in 2017 despite the first dip in solar-related employment in several years.
The big winner: The energy efficiency sector alone represented half the growth, adding a net 67,000 new jobs, according to the report.
Solar dip: Solar energy companies employed roughly 350,000 on a full- or part-time basis last year, a loss of 24,000 that represents the sector's first employment dip since this dataset was collected in 2010.
Here are a few other snapshots...
Over in our Expert Voices section, University of Michigan urban planning expert Jonathan Levine writes that the rise of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) could reduce the energy consumed by the U.S. light-duty fleet by 60% — or increase it sharply.
Why there's risk: Over 80% of the variable costs of driving are in the value of the driver’s time. CAV travelers will reclaim part of that value by web surfing, working or sleeping. This reduced price will likely increase travel.
How to manage the problem: Counteracting these travel-inducing effects demands policies to support shared deployment in the form of on-demand transit, which could mix public and private elements, rather than a CAV in every garage.
The big picture: A transit system that integrates trains, buses and on-demand CAVs is the best scenario for energy consumption. But such a system requires proactive planning, rather than a default to the car-oriented policies inherited from an earlier era.
My Axios colleague Andrew Freedman reports that even though millions shivered through an unusually cold and snowy start to spring in the U.S. and Canada, the world still had the third-warmest April in 138 years of record-keeping.
The big picture: Other than central and eastern North America, nearly every other land area in the world was warmer-than-average in April. Europe, South America and the Arctic were particular hot spots, with the Arctic experiencing the second-lowest sea ice extent on record for the month. Only April 2016 and 2017 were warmer than last month.
The details: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the end of a La Niña event in the tropical Pacific Ocean on May 11.
Be smart: While individual monthly rankings are noteworthy, the long-term trend is what climate scientists are interested in, and that trend is unequivocally upward, largely due to human emissions of greenhouse gases.