Podcast fans: The latest episode of Axios' Pro Rata podcast looks in the rearview mirror at Saudi Arabia's Future Investment Initiative conference. Listen here to learn why Axios' Felix Salmon believes it was a "complete disaster."
Onto music. Halloween will mark the birthday of the Beastie Boys' Adam Horovitz, so let's honor that a day early by giving that brilliant act today's intro tune...
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This morning BP reported $3.8 billion in third-quarter profits, more than twice what they made in Q3 of 2017. It's their biggest haul in 5 years and the company's stock is up around 4% in pre-market trading in the U.S.
Why it matters: The tally beat analysts' expectations and more broadly signals how oil majors are raking in cash amid higher oil prices.
Power move: BP said it's planning to pay cash for all of its $10.5 billion acquisition of BHP's U.S. shale assets, a deal announced in July that will greatly expand the BP's onshore U.S. production.
Go deeper: CNBC dives into the results here.
America’s electricity generation reached the highest level since before the economic recession, reports Axios' Amy Harder.
Why it matters: Electricity generation in the U.S. has been largely stagnant for a decade, fueled by a slow-growing economy after the 2008 financial crash and the resulting lackluster electricity demand. That’s starting to change, recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows.
“We learned to do less with less during the Great Recession, then we learned to do more with less in the low-energy recovery that followed. Now it looks like America is doing more with more.”— Kevin Book, managing director, ClearView Energy Partners
Yes, but: Chris Cassar, an electricity expert at the EIA, notes that weather may be at play too. He said this summer was a lot warmer than last year’s, which would have increased the need for electricity generation.
“It is very hard to completely separate weather from the economic factors affecting the change in electricity generation.”— Chris Cassar
One level deeper: Growing electricity generation is good news for all producers and generators of electricity, which have been battling it out — in what Amy calls the "Hunger Games of electricity" — over the last year for a piece of the mostly stagnant market as President Trump seeks to boost financially struggling coal and nuclear power plants.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A new study predicts that a sharp increase in Bitcoin use will cause a surge in greenhouse gas emissions, potentially dooming the world to global warming levels that would exceed the targets set under the Paris Climate Agreement, Axios' Andrew Freedman writes.
Why it matters: Bitcoin has an energy problem, requiring high amounts of electricity to process transactions. Determining the implications of such energy use is of concern for climate scientists, particularly if this new currency takes off in popularity.
What they did: The study estimates that Bitcoin usage emitted 69 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, while accounting for just 0.033% of cashless transactions in the same year. They then project future emissions based on a variety of scenarios of growing Bitcoin usage in coming years.
The researchers, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, found that Bitcoin could be responsible for emissions emissions sufficient to propel climate change past 2°C, or 3.6°F, above preindustrial levels within just the next 11 to 22 years.
But, but, but: The study makes a number of questionable assumptions, experts said. For example, the projections assume that the fuel types used to generate electricity will remain the same as they are today.
Go deeper: Read Andrew's full story in the Axios stream.
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General Electric will split up its struggling power business and further slash its quarterly payouts to investors, CEO Larry Culp said today, while announcing earnings that came in below analyst expectations, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
Why it matters: Culp stepped in as CEO less than a month ago, and he's making the first of what’s sure to be many changes to turn around the 100-year-old conglomerate.
The big picture: Bloomberg dove into several automakers' comments on Trump administration plans to weaken Obama-era mandates:
Just a small number of countries have laws and policies that are consistent with hitting the emissions targets they established under the Paris climate deal, a new analysis by a London School of Economics research institute finds.
Why it matters: The report drives home the challenge of reaching existing carbon reduction goals, let alone achieving the types of cuts that scientists say are needed to prevent some of the most dangerous levels of warming.
What they did: The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment compared nations' domestic policies to their self-established pledges under the agreement, aka nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
What they found: "Our analysis reveals that countries are being slow to reproduce their NDC commitments as targets in national laws and policies," the report states.
The bottom line: There's a major mismatch.
One problem, they note, is that where countries do have economy-wide and sector-specific emissions policies and targets, they're generally set to 2020, while the NDCs are based on 2030 goals.
Private equity giant the Carlyle Group and the Port of Corpus Christie are teaming up in to build a crude oil export terminal that can accommodate massive supertankers. It's a $1 billion project, according to multiple reports.
Why it matters: The deal, announced yesterday, is a sign of confidence in the continued growth in U.S. crude exports at a time when production is rising from prolific shale formations in Texas and elsewhere.
The big picture: It would mark a major expansion of U.S. capacity to handle those huge ships.
Go deeper: S&P Global Platts has more here.