Good morning and welcome back. Here's a list of organizations helping victims of Hurricane Michael.
And happy birthday to Daryl Hall of the underrated Hall & Oates, who has today's intro tune...
Flooding and power outages after Hurricane Michael made landfall in Panama City, Fla., on Oct. 10. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, Fla., as a high-end Category 4 storm early Wednesday afternoon, killing at least two people and causing catastrophic damage.
Electricity losses: As of 6am this morning, there were 359,306 accounts without power, according to Florida state officials.
Oil-and-gas: Evacuations of Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas platforms led to 42% of Gulf oil production and 32% of gas production being shut-in as of midday yesterday, according to the Interior Department.
The big picture: There's lots of good info in our Axios Science stream about the unusual and dangerous storm.
Axios' Amy Harder scooped yesterday ... Ernest Moniz, who was President Obama's DOE secretary, is suspending his involvement in a high-tech project in Saudi Arabia until more info is available about the disappearance and possible assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I share the deep concerns of many about the disappearance and possible assassination of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. … The recent trend in many countries of targeting journalists for doing their jobs is a fundamental threat to freedom of the press, human rights and the rule of law.”— Ernest Moniz
Where it stands: Moniz says he was invited to join an international advisory board for the development of NEOM, a planned $500 billion futuristic industrial city focused on tech sectors including energy.
Google released a report yesterday describing an interesting challenge: It aims to eventually use carbon-free electricity to power its energy-thirsty data centers around the clock and around the world.
Why it matters: The tech giant announced months ago that it already purchases enough renewable energy in the aggregate to match their annual power consumption. But that's not the same thing as never using carbon-emitting power.
Where it stands: Google notes they source CO2-free power in two broad ways — their long-term power purchase deals from regional renewables projects and the power coming from a broader regional grid.
Details, per Google:
What's next: The report lays out 3 broad ways to boost the hourly match worldwide...
Elon Musk is disputing a widely circulated Financial Times report that James Murdoch, the outgoing CEO of 21st Century Fox, has emerged as the top candidate to replace Musk as the chairman of Tesla.
"This is incorrect," Musk said on Twitter last night.
Why it matters: Per Musk's settlement with the SEC for the fateful "go private" tweet, Tesla has until the middle of November to replace Musk as chairman of the company. Murdoch joined Tesla's board last year.
Quick take, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Musk seems determined to continue to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the SEC agreement. First with his “shortseller enrichment commission” tweet, and now with the appointment of his friend James Murdoch as an “independent” chairman, if the report is true.
The intrigue: Business Insider parses Musk's short tweet...
U.S. crude exports by vessel type, via the Dallas Fed's latest Energy Indicators report
Dallas Fed's latest Energy Indicators report reveals the expanding use of the largest type of tankers to handle growing U.S. crude oil export volumes from the Gulf Coast.
The big picture, per the report:
Approximately 289 million barrels (bbls) were exported via water in the first half of 2018, up 237 percent from the first half of 2017, according to ClipperData.
If the average daily export volume observed in July and August were held constant through year’s end, U.S. water-borne exports would grow another 62 percent year over year in the second half of 2018.
What's next: Via the Houston Chronicle, "U.S. crude oil exports are expected to more than double by 2020 and, unlike the pipeline constraints hampering the growth of the booming Permian Basin oil field, the Texas Gulf Coast will be ready to ship the larger volumes to the world, according to two studies released this week."
EPA: Via Bloomberg, "The Environmental Protection Agency has installed new members on a scientific advisory panel that guides the agency on air pollution — and only one of them is an independent, academic scientist."
OPEC: Per Reuters, "OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said on Thursday that oil producers are very concerned about spare output capacity amid a reduction in energy-industry investment, with crude prices rising recently on fears of a drop in Iranian supply."
BMW and EVs: AP reports, "German automaker BMW is taking a majority stake in its China joint venture and investing 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in factories there, underscoring the importance of the Chinese market as the company prepares to meet increased demand for electric vehicles."