Good morning, and happy Monday. I always enjoy hearing from you, whether you have tips, criticism or anything in between. You can reach me by replying here or emailing email@example.com.
My latest Harder Line column has exclusive details on BP's efforts to ramp back up its low-carbon strategy. I'll share that and then hand things back to Ben Geman to get you up to speed on the rest of the news.
After investing billions of dollars in renewables 20 years ago and then mostly bailing after big losses, oil giant BP is ramping back up in this space.
Why it matters: BP’s new moves are one of the most concrete signs the world’s biggest oil companies are slowly investing more in greener businesses, driven by a handful of market and policy trends.
Behind the scenes: In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Axios earlier this month in Washington, BP CEO Bob Dudley talked about the lessons his company learned when it first invested in renewables and why he sees this time as different and lasting.
What's next: BP is poised to soon announce targets with its low-carbon strategy. Noting the company has been developing it since fall 2016, spokesman Geoff Morrell said: "Informed by all that, we are now able to set meaningful and credible targets, and we anticipate sharing them publicly soon."
More: Drill down in the Axios stream here to read about lessons learned and BP's new low-carbon playbook.
Business: Earnings season for big oil-and-gas companies is in full swing this week with fourth-quarter reports from Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips on Thursday and Chevron reporting Friday.
Congress and policy: EPA administrator Scott Pruitt will make his first appearance before the Senate as head of the agency on Tuesday. He'll appear before the Environment and Public Works Committee for a broad oversight hearing.
Trump: The president will give his first State of the Union speech on Tuesday. Expect President Trump to promote his deregulatory moves in the energy space. But our own Mike Allen, in his speech preview, cautions not to look for new policy overall.
Advocacy: Wednesday brings the Investor Summit on Climate Risk, a New York City event co-hosted by the advocacy group Ceres and the UN.
Let's explore the fallout of prominent GOP Rep. Fred Upton's decision, broken in this newsletter on Friday, to join the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.
Why it matters: The responses seen below highlight some of the strategic divides running through the climate movement on working with fossil fuel industry allies.
What they're saying:
Yes, but: Mark Reynolds, head of the Citizens' Climate Lobby that works with the caucus, said Upton's sway with GOP members means that "his support for a policy could give the green light to other Republicans," and his participation could help "neutralize the partisan rhetoric" around climate.
Stuck: The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that 2 years after Saudi Arabia announced plans for the Aramco IPO, "the kingdom and its advisers remain stuck on the crucial question of where to list the shares."
Shell: Reuters has a detailed look at the Shell's increasing push into the electricity and electric vehicle space. The lede:
LNG: Via The Washington Post, “A tanker carrying liquefied natural gas from a sanctioned project in Russia’s Arctic has arrived in Boston Harbor, where it will be offloaded for American users.”
Venezuela: The Financial Times looks at the country’s tragic crisis and falling oil production, noting those barrels coming off the market are a key reason why Brent crude oil prices are back around $70 per barrel.
Speaking of Aramco: Writing in The Telegraph, a senior S&P Global Platts editor says the effort to secure a huge windfall from the IPO might be "clouding" the judgement of OPEC's dominant producer.
More Aramco and shale: Over at Brookings, Samantha Gross explores why the U.S. won't play a similar role to Saudi Arabia in global oil markets, even as the shale boom is poised to push total U.S. production past the kingdom.
Mining: ICYMI, on Friday evening EPA made a surprise decision to revive, at least for now, Obama-era protections that have thwarted creation of a huge gold and copper mine in Alaska's ecologically sensitive Bristol Bay watershed.
Trump's climate comments: AP fact-checks what the president told Piers Morgan in an interview that aired yesterday, including Trump's claim that "ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records. They're at a record level."
No free lunch: Over at Vox, David Roberts says going all-in to fight climate change demands tough tradeoffs for environmentalists, too. He says:
Sign of the times: Recall the predictions that Interior's abrupt decision to yank Florida from the draft plan to expand offshore oil leasing could add to the legal battles over the proposal once it's final.