πŸͺ Wednesday. We'll get you over the hump with 1,197 words, 4.5 minutes.

πŸ›’οΈ Situational awareness: A sweeping foreign aid bill heading for President Biden's signature includes new oil sanctions on Iran.

  • Yes, but: The president has discretion to waive them. Bloomberg has more.

🎢 At this moment in 1983, the indomitable George Clinton was atop Billboard's soul chart with today's intro tune...

1 big thing: Tesla stops the bleeding β€” but not the questions

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Tesla has reversed waning investor confidence β€” for now β€” even as specifics about its future product lineup remain lacking.

Why it matters: The wider electric vehicle transition is intertwined with Tesla, the world's largest seller of battery-powered cars, Ben writes.

  • And as CEO Elon Musk never stops emphasizing, Tesla is all in on autonomous vehicle tech and AI.

Driving the news: The stock, which has tumbled all year, is up 11% in post-market trading after Tesla announced plans to accelerate new model launches β€” including a cheaper car.

Yes, but: Tesla first quarter profits dropped 55% from the same period a year earlier.

  • The bad quarter was expected after Tesla revealed a delivery slump weeks ago, so here's the news and vibes from yesterday's earnings report and analyst call:

πŸ’΅ A cheaper model is still happening β€” apparently. The earnings deck says it's among the products arriving before the second half of 2025.

  • But Musk did not repeat plans for a $25,000 model, or offer a price point.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ­ Musk insisted Tesla remains his priority. His focus on X and other ventures has been among investor concerns.

  • "Tesla constitutes the majority of my work time," Musk said.

🧠 He really wanted to discuss autonomy and AI. He wants Tesla to be viewed as a cutting-edge tech company.

  • "We should be thought of as an AI robotics company." Valuing Tesla as an automaker is "fundamentally" the "wrong framework."

πŸ“ˆ Q1 was an aberration, Musk insists. He talked up specific logistical problems that hurt deliveries.

  • "I think we will have higher sales this year than last year."

πŸ”‹ Look for more energy storage growth. Margins in Tesla's energy business have reached nearly 25%, CFO Vaibhav Taneja said.

  • He expects the division to grow at least 75% this year, and will "begin contributing significantly to our overall profitability."

What's next: All eyes are on Q2 deliveries β€” and then the promised Aug. 8 robotaxi reveal.

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2. Power outage trends across the U.S.

Share of major power outages attributed to extreme weather
Data: Climate Central via U.S. Department of Energy. Note: Major power outages affect at least 50k customers or interrupt service of 300 megawatts or more; outage events can cross state lines. Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

According to a new analysis, the South and Southeast have experienced the most extreme weather-related power outages during the past two decades, Andrew writes.

Why it matters: The electrical grid is under increasing strain as climate change raises the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, from heat waves to wildfires.

  • Outages, and lengthy restore times, can cost the economy billions of dollars and lead to loss of life.

Zoom in: Extreme weather accounted for about 80% of all major U.S. power outages from 2000 to 2023, the nonprofit research and communications group Climate Central reports.

  • Such outages are defined as affecting at least 50,000 homes or businesses, or cutting service of at least 300 megawatts.
  • The majority of weather-related outages are due to severe weather like major thunderstorms, followed by winter weather and tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • The report notes hurricanes can cause long-lasting outages, accounting for most of these types of outages through 2022.

The intrigue: Wildfires and heat waves, two of the hazards most clearly linked to human-caused climate change, are becoming more problematic, Climate Central found.

  • Extreme heat accounts for a smaller share of outages but creates acute public health hazards when it does occur.
  • And wildfires have accounted for about 2% of weather-related outages during this period, with more than half of these instances occurring during the past five years.

What's next: With the increasing recognition that America's power capacity has to grow to support generative AI and other high-tech applications, utilities are rethinking their architecture and upgrades schedule.

  • In turn, this may lead to innovations that harden the grid against extreme weather events.

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3. Bonus: Major power disruptions are more common

Major U.S. power outages
Data: Climate Central via U.S. Department of Energy. Note: Major power outages affect at least 50k customers or interrupt service of 300 megawatts or more. Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Weather-related power outages are increasing in frequency, Climate Central found, Andrew writes.

  • The U.S. saw about twice as many weather-related outages during the past decade than during the first 10 years analyzed, the group found in its new report.
  • Driving factors include climate change-related upticks in extreme weather, America's aging and increasingly vulnerable grid, and population growth.

4. Breaking in policy: EV loan and offshore wind plan

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

πŸ’΅ The Energy Department finalized a $362 million loan for a Texas factory that will produce wiring systems used in EVs, Ben writes.

  • The big picture: CelLink's plant is expected to produce enough lightweight harnesses for roughly 2.7 million EVs annually, the department said.
  • Why it matters: It helps President Biden's target for EVs making up 50% of car sales by 2030, Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk told reporters.
  • What's next: He said wiring harnesses are mostly manufactured overseas today. The Georgetown, Texas plant will create over 1,200 permanent jobs, per DOE.

πŸ—“οΈ The Interior Department this morning outlined plans for up to 12 offshore wind lease sales through 2028.

  • Why it matters: The 5-year plan shows Interior believes β€” or at least hopes β€” that large energy companies will remain interested in major projects despite recent setbacks.
  • What's next: The sales are slated for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, Gulf of Mexico, and, late in the schedule, an unnamed U.S. territory and Hawaii.

5. Oil deals' hot start and more petro-notes

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

🀝 U.S. dealmaking among oil and gas drillers hit $51 billion in Q1 2024 after a record 2023, Ben writes.

  • Why it matters: Per new data from the analytics firm Enverus, there's a musical chairs-like scramble for remaining high-quality shale acreage. Diamondback Energy's $26 billion deal for Endeavor Energy Resources led the pack.
  • What's next: Enverus sees a slowdown looming, noting activity already lost momentum in March. They also predict companies will look beyond the Permian Basin to Texas' Eagle Ford and Oklahoma's Scoop-Stack play, citing "higher fragmentation" and lower prices.

πŸ„ TotalEnergies and BlackRock-owned Vanguard Renewables unveiled a joint venture to develop U.S. renewable gas projects.

  • The big picture: They plan to start constructing 10 projects over the next year and may invest in dozens more. The technology converts food waste and dairy manure into gas.

⚑ An Energy Department advisory panel backed by oil majors says Congress should create a "low-carbon intensity" standard to build a thriving U.S. hydrogen industry, Axios Pro's Jael Holzman was first to report.

  • Why it matters: The National Petroleum Council recommendations could tee up future debates on Capitol Hill β€” and come as oil companies see hydrogen as a way to diversify.
  • The big picture: Their report says current policies, such as the IRA and the hydrogen hubs program, improve project economics, but are "insufficient" to drive down costs for some industrial work.
  • Go deeper: Unlock the whole story β€” and a steady diet of scoops and smart analysis β€” by talking to our sales team about Axios Pro: Energy Policy.

6. One good bookmark: tracking UN summit goals

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

A new website tracks global progress β€” or lack thereof β€” toward consensus targets from last year's UN climate summit in Dubai, Ben writes.

Why it matters: The International Energy Agency site provides one-stop-shopping for keeping tabs on pledges around renewable power, efficiency, phasing down coal, cutting methane, and more.

  • It's one outcome of cooperation between IEA and the UN's climate branch.

Catch up quick: COP28 endorsed tripling renewable energy capacity and doubling annual efficiency improvements by 2030, and offered a first-time (albeit vague) pledge to move away from fossil fuels.

  • The new site tracks these and a half-dozen other pledges issued or re-affirmed at the summit.

What's next: IEA plans to update the page regularly as more data comes in.

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πŸ™ Thanks to Chris Speckhard and Javier David for edits to today's edition, along with the brilliant Axios Visuals team.