Happy Wednesday! And happy birthday to the late Barry White, whose unmistakable voice provides today's intro song...
Even though it's not heading for the Gulf Coast oil belt, Hurricane Florence could create some serious energy disruptions.
Threat level: Infrastructure in the storm's path includes the Colonial and Plantation Pipelines that carry refined products through the Carolinas.
What we're hearing...
The most likely impacts are prolonged power outages across utility footprints, disruptions in natural gas production and transportation, delays in pipeline construction schedules and potential reductions in refined product supply to the Northeast.
U.S. oil prices remained higher early Wednesday traded as Hurricane Florence barreled toward the East Coast, boosting demand for crude and raising worries about disruptions to gasoline flows and pipelines in the region.
A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in retail demand. Motorists can expect spikes in pump prices to be brief, but possibly dramatic.
Separately, Axios' Andrew Freedman explores the nexus between Hurricane Florence and climate change. Although global warming is not a direct cause of such storms, the changing climate can increase the risk of damage from the storm. A couple of his points...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Axios' Felix Salmon reports ...Tesla has a market value of nearly $48 billion, making it one of the 150 most valuable companies in America. Yet Nomura Instinet analyst Romit Shah yesterday put out research saying that Tesla is "no longer investable."
The reason: What Shah refers to as "the erratic behavior of Elon Musk."
The big picture: Shah says that Tesla could be a good bet with a different leader, but chaos monkey CEOs aren't the only reason that securities are sometimes considered uninvestable. Some other reasons include...
Possible futures: Looking longer term at the global supply and demand balance in coming years, an HSBC research note Wednesday argues that market fundamentals support at least the current price, and that risks "still look skewed to the upside." Possibly way up...
State of the Permian: More evidence is emerging of infrastructure constraints trimming the explosive growth in the region.
Another sign comes via the Houston Chronicle's piece on a new Wood Mackenzie analysis.
A new Atlantic Council paper argues global climate diplomacy actually has lots of untapped potential in the Trump-era.
Why it matters: Current national pledges won't cut global emissions anywhere close to enough to the level scientists say is needed to avoid temperature increases well beyond 2° C.
The big picture: "Nations may resist the idea of doing more simply to take on a larger share of a global climate goal," University of Texas' Joshua Busby and Climate Advisers' Nigel Purvis write.
The details: There are already many sector-specific multinational initiatives around forests, shipping pollution, refrigerants and more — and these should be doubled, they say. Areas ripe for expansion include...
The bottom line: Per the report...
Policymakers and diplomats need to continue moving away from the idea of a single global negotiation over emissions levels, and toward a multi-pronged approach.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Axios' Amy Harder reports ... A nonprofit pushing technology that captures carbon-dioxide emissions from the sky is rebranding and redoubling its focus as the zany-sounding tech gains steam.
Why it matters: The evolution of the group, Center for Carbon Removal, reflects growing interest in the technology among foundations and other groups. Experts say it’s increasingly essential for limiting Earth’s temperature rise and avoiding the worst impacts of a warmer world.
The reason: There's already so much buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we’ve reached a point that some needs to be taken out.
The details: The group, launched in 2015, is rebranding as Carbon180.
The big picture: Carbon180’s renewed focus follows similar action elsewhere in the energy and climate space, including...
Go deeper: Read Amy's full story in the Axios stream.
NIO, a Chinese electric car company whose backers include Baidu and Tencent, raised at least $1 billion in an IPO that priced at $6.25 per share, according to Reuters.
It will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange.
The bottom line: Axios' Dan Primack notes that while NIO may someday become a rival to Tesla, so far it makes Musk's manufacturing output look prodigious.
The Chinese upstart only began making deliveries this past June, with fewer than 2,000 vehicles shipped through the end of August.
Natural gas: Axios Expert Voices contributor Anna Mikulska explores how Europe's natural gas market is "not only growing but also diversifying its suppliers, routes and delivery forms."
Policy: Amy writes about EPA's announcement Tuesday that it's easing up on requirements for oil and gas producers and making other changes to an Obama-era rule cutting emissions of methane as it works toward a broader repeal in the coming months.