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Today marks the 1977 release date of Pink Floyd's "Animals," so they'll make sure we don't feel alone...
New public surveys offer a messy picture for anyone trying to game out where U.S. climate policy may go in the future.
Why it matters: The reports arrive as Democrats are increasing their political focus on climate and some conservatives are trying to chip away at massive GOP opposition to carbon taxes.
What they found: One of the polls — found here — shows that 44% would support taxing carbon emissions in the abstract, compared with 29% in opposition.
But support was higher when pollsters for the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute and the AP–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research asked about specific uses of tax revenue (see chart above).
The intrigue: Note that providing a tax rebate to all Americans is hardly the most popular option. Yet that's the guts of the proposal floated by some lawmakers, a large group of economists and the Climate Leadership Council, a group backed by some prominent GOP elder statesman and big corporate players like Exxon, BP and Shell.
The poll found even less support for coupling the tax with easing emissions regulations, which is a key part of the proposal from the CLC, its lobbying offshoot Americans for Carbon Dividends, and the economists.
Between the lines: All that said ... it's a single poll. And even that survey has mixed messages.
A main takeaway from the poll is that it finds 49% of respondents said climate change is very or extremely important to them personally.
Partisan divide also remain immense. The poll shows that while 71% of respondents overall agree that climate change is happening, only 52% of Republicans are in agreement.
But, but, but: A second survey also has results that could show greater public interest in measures to stem rising emissions and adapt to the effects of warming. Read more on this below.
More Americans are very worried about global warming and say the issue is personally important to them than ever before, according to a new poll released yesterday by Yale and George Mason universities.
Here's more from Axios' Andrew Freedman on that survey...
Why it matters: The polling may indicate that extreme weather events — coupled with grim scientific findings — over the past year are starting to change peoples' minds about climate change.
The big picture: A key finding is that Americans increasingly view global warming as a present-day threat, rather than something that will affect future generations.
Where it stands: The University of Chicago-AP poll shows some similar trend lines.
But, but, but: The public is still in a very different place than the scientific community.
VCs: Via Bloomberg, a California co-working space and incubator for clean energy companies called Powerhouse is expanding into venture capital.
Google: TechCrunch reports, "Google has launched its first clean energy project in Asia. The company announced today that it struck a long-term agreement to buy the output of a 10-megawatt solar array in Tainan City, Taiwan, about 100 km south of its data center in the country. "
The amount of water needed for hydraulic fracturing operations has more than doubled in recent years and is slated to top 6 billion barrels in 2021, the consultancy Rystad Energy said in a note.
Why it matters: It's a metric of the massive scale of the U.S. oil boom that has sent production to record levels.
What's next: A Rystad analyst said in the note that the industry will be able to get the water it needs as production grows and water demand soars with it.
However, the report also warns of looming constraints for dealing with wastewater that comes out of wells.
The big picture: The volumes of water needed to support the growth of shale production has long been an ecological concern.
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Speaking of shale, yesterday the Energy Information Administration forecast that oil production from shale formations would rise by 62,000 barrels per day in February to reach 8.18 million barrels per day.
A PG&E service center in San Rafael, Calif. Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
Axios Expert Voices contributor Joshua Rhodes sizes up the clean energy stakes now that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), the largest utility in California, plans to file for bankruptcy by the end of the month.
The big picture: Consumers' lights will stay on regardless of what happens in court, but the future of California’s energy policy might be a bit dimmer.
Why it matters: To meet California’s ambitious climate goals, PG&E has entered into dozens of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with wind and solar farms, for thousands of megawatts, all over the West Coast.
Where it stands: California aims to attain 60% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free energy by 2045. While solar and wind are some of the cheapest sources of electricity today, some of the earlier renewable PPAs, entered into over a decade ago, are priced much higher than recent ones.
The bottom line: If an entity as large as PG&E cannot make good on 30-year contracts, lenders’ faith in such projects might be shaken. As a result, banks might offer developers worse terms on the financing of future projects, which could put upward pressure on future PPAs.
Rhodes is a research associate in the Webber Energy Group and the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.
Q4 lobbying reports are rolling in from powerful oil-and-gas sector players (with some still outstanding).
Why it matters: The filings show the financial scope of the influence industry. And while they vary in detail, the reports — which are found via links below — show the topics and bills have caught the attention of powerful players.
By the numbers: