Good morning and welcome back to Generate! After all kinds of wind up, President Trump will sign an executive order today that attacks Obama's climate policies head on. We've got plenty on that below, or just skip the first few items if you're at risk of executive order fatigue, because there's plenty more happening too.
The arrival of the executive order is a good time to take stock of Trump's environmental and energy push after two busy months.
Before today, Trump had killed an Interior Department regulation on coal mining waste, approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, signaled he'll ease auto mileage rules, and called for faster infrastructure permitting overall.
So two months into his presidency, how much impact is he having? Easing environmental protections can affect how industry operates, but not necessarily how much it operates. Fossil fuel production is pretty resilient to policy shifts unless they really mess with the underlying market fundamentals. I've got a story over on the Axios stream that explores why rolling back regulations can nudge energy markets but probably can't fundamentally alter them. Check it out here.
The White House walked reporters through the energy and climate order last night.
Why it matters: The order is the clearest sign yet of how aggressively Trump is attacking Obama's regulations on fossil fuel development and coal-fired power generation, which Republicans call economically burdensome.
According to the White House, the order will . . .
. . . and a whole lot more, which you can read about
One more thing about Trump's climate change order. The Rhodium Group consultancy circulated a research note last night that takes stock of what would happen if everything in the order actually comes to pass.
Their bottom line?
Yesterday brought a new wrinkle in what could be the biggest IPO ever. Saudi Arabia is cutting the tax rate for state oil giant Saudi Aramco in preparation for next year's offering. The new rate is 50 percent, down from 85 percent.
The New York Times offers some context:
The kingdom plans to sell 5 percent of the company next year.
Wind and solar energy can become economically competitive ways to help meet rising energy demand in Africa, but planners need to consider location, location, location, according to new Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory research.
The whole paper is available here.
The Financial Times has a look at how commodities traders and a French bank are testing out blockchain technology for deals in U.S. oil markets.
Why it matters:
"The technology could ease the cumbersome process of exchanging contracts, letters of credit, inspection and other paperwork by email or fax when one company sells oil to another," the paper reports.
The energy secretary made an unannounced visit to the long-proposed, long-delayed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada yesterday, a project the Obama administration abandoned that Trump's crew wants to revive.
That's all for today, but please watch the Axios stream for more coverage. I'll be reading other Axios newsletters this morning, because they're really good. You can sign up for all of them here. Thanks for checking out Generate, and your feedback and confidential tips are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you tomorrow.