At this moment 40 years ago, Gloria Gaynor was about to ascend the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts with today's immortal and defiant intro tune...
Onshore rig at sunset. Photo: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
Norway's finance ministry proposed Friday that the country's huge sovereign wealth fund should drop holdings in oil exploration and production companies in order to "reduce the aggregate oil price risk in the Norwegian economy."
Why it matters: It's the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world, and, as the Financial Times points out...
"The move is likely to be seized upon by environmentalists as a template for other big global investors and marks the biggest proposed divestment of fossil fuel assets."
The plan applies to holdings currently worth roughly $8 billion in 134 companies. The list includes some big U.S.-based oil-and-gas producers such as Anadarko, Marathon Oil, Continental Resources, Chesapeake Energy and several others.
But, but, but: The divestment applies only to oil-and-gas companies specifically, not big integrated majors — including Norway's own Equinor — that have renewable energy as a small but growing part of their business.
Where it stands: Bloomberg posted a helpful explainer that gets into why Norway, a major energy producer that controls 67% of the oil-and-gas giant Equinor, would make this move.
What they're saying: Fossil fuel divestment advocates cheered the move. Mark Campanale, executive director of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, tells Axios it shows that the finance ministry "understands that the future belongs to those who transition away from fossil fuels."
A first-ever address by a sitting secretary of state and the economic crisis in oil-rich Venezuela are set to drive the agenda at a conference next week in Houston of the world’s biggest energy companies.
Why it matters: This is the first time the conference, held for almost 40 years, is occurring with America as the world’s biggest crude oil producer, a milestone reached last year.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will give a speech Tuesday addressing “how America’s energy revolution strengthens national security in an age of renewed great power competition.”
Background: The weeklong event is bringing together a record 4,500 attendees, Yergin told Axios in an interview on Thursday.
Read more of Amy's CERAWeek preview.
The Ford Mach I Levacar (1959) never went into production. Photo: Archive Photos/Getty
Axios' Steve LeVine has a cool story about competition for who will dominate a shift in motor traffic from the road to the air that's still well off into the future, but maybe not that far.
Why it matters: This will eventually create multiple new industries worth tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in sales a year as travel moves toward electrified, automated short flights.
"The Jetsons" has become a catch-all metaphor for almost any futuristic vision, but Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, in an interview with Axios, painted a picture very much resembling the 1960s cartoon.
But, but, but: There is no telling whether this future will materialize like Muilenburg and others forecast.
Where it stands: Boeing, Airbus and Uber are among the largest players in this evolving new industry. There are also numerous small startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
What to watch: Venkat Viswanathan, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who advises flying vehicle startups, said huge improvements in lithium-ion batteries are a key enabler of this new age, but that much more progress is required.
Go deeper: Read Steve's whole piece.
Rising U.S. exports of crude oil and petroleum products (like gasoline) combined are poised to overtake Saudi Arabia's by the end of the year, Rystad Energy predicts in a new analysis.
Why it matters: It's just symbolically interesting and a testament to how the U.S. oil boom is increasingly affecting global trade.
But, but, but: The U.S. is not rivaling the Saudis when it comes to crude oil exports anytime soon, even as the U.S. crude shipments grow.
The bottom line: The Saudis are at around 9 million barrels per day when you combine crude, natural gas liquids, and other petroleum products. The U.S. is at around 8 million and rising.
As we've reported before many times, it's tough to cut carbon emissions from the transportation sector, which has now surpassed electricity as the biggest source of CO2 in the U.S.
The chart above, courtesy of the Dallas Fed, helps explain one of the reasons why it's such a challenge — increases in vehicle fuel efficiency are battling against increased driving.
What's next: EPA and the Transportation Department are crafting final rules to weaken Obama-era mandates on vehicle emissions and mileage during the first half of the 2020s.
A home in New York. Photo: Jumping Rocks/UIG via Getty Images
Axios Expert Voices contributor David Friedman of Consumer Reports writes ... The Department of Energy has been declining to update and strengthen many energy efficiency standards for home appliances and equipment.
Driving the news: A newly proposed process rule from the department could slow or freeze further updates to the standards and provide for additional product exemptions.
Why it matters: These efficiency rules have been instrumental in cutting Americans' energy use, even as home appliances have expanded their features and improved their performance.
Where it stands: The DOE is seeking to roll back the scope of congressionally established lighting efficiency standards that would otherwise take effect in 2020.
Go deeper: Read the full post.
Friedman is VP of advocacy at Consumer Reports and a former DOE deputy and acting assistant secretary. He testified Thursday at a House Energy Subcommittee hearing on the DOE policies.