Good morning! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,340 words, 5 minutes.
Mark your calendars: Season 3 of “Axios on HBO” kicks off 6 pm ET/PT Sunday, March 1!
And 30 years ago today, political rockers Midnight Oil released "Blue Sky Mining," which provides today's propulsive intro tune...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
JPMorgan Chase is the latest financial giant to unveil new climate commitments, and like its peers, it is hard to disentangle how much is motivated by pressure, conscience or making a virtue of necessity.
Driving the news: Via Axios' Amy Harder, JPMorgan said Monday that it will not provide project finance for Arctic oil-and-gas projects or coal-fired power plants unless they trap CO2 emissions.
Some of the other pledges include...
The big picture: Jason Bordoff, head of a Columbia University energy think tank, tells me JPMorgan's decision to define project categories it won't finance reflects "tension" that banks feel.
Why it matters: JPMorgan is the banking sector's largest provider of fossil fuel finance, per analysis from several green groups led by the Rainforest Action Network.
But, but, but: While JPMorgan is emphasizing its engagement on climate and clean energy, it's also following market trends as energy companies move away from some forms of carbon-intensive and expensive projects.
Environmentalists welcomed JPMorgan's new climate moves while also calling them insufficient, noting they leave many types of projects untouched.
The intrigue: One question now, as the Trump administration prepares to sell leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, is whether other U.S. banks will adopt similar anti-Arctic drilling policies.
Over one-third of registered voters consider climate change a crisis and 59% say the Trump administration is doing too little to address it, newly released polling shows.
Why it matters: The Brunswick Group survey released Tuesday arrives as climate is playing a more prominent role in the 2020 election cycle — and the policy stakes are high.
The big picture: Here are some of the other findings from the wide-ranging survey...
The intrigue: One theme in the findings, Brunswick's polling memo notes, is that "Trump’s brand affects how his supporters view climate policy."
Note: The Brunswick Group paid for and conducted the survey of 1,000 voters in December. Questions for the full sample have a margin-of-error of plus-or-minus 3%.
Oil companies' moves on climate have been in the headlines lately, so check out how the Brunswick Group took the pulse on it.
What they did: Voters could select three parties "most responsible" for causing climate change from a menu of seven options (including oil companies, "big business," individuals, government and more). A similar question was asked about addressing it.
What they found: As the chart above shows, oil companies face the most blame.
A new Financial Times interview with American Petroleum Institute president Mike Sommers helped remind me that two oil majors are on the cusp of big decisions about their lobbying posture.
Where it stands: BP, which two weeks ago unveiled new climate pledges, said at the time that it would announce the results of the review this month. Well, this month is almost over!
Why it matters: Depending on the results, the decisions could signal a reshaping of oil giants' relationship with K Street groups as companies face pressure act more aggressively on climate.
What they're saying: Bringing it back to API, Sommers tells FT: “I'm confident that we're going to be able to continue to represent this industry, including Total, including BP, including Shell, including Equinor, for many, many years to come.”
Climate: "Republicans in the Oregon Senate fled the Capitol on Monday to stop Democrats’ bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions after the plan cleared a legislative budget committee earlier in the day." (Oregonian)
Electric cars: "South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd said on Tuesday it will exclusively supply electric vehicle (EV) batteries to U.S. electric carmaker Lucid Motors, which plans to start production of its Lucid Air sedan later this year." (Reuters)
Storage: Long duration grid storage company Highview Power announced Tuesday it had raised a major equity investment to support its journey to market. (Greentech Media)
Offshore drilling: "Equinor ASA has dropped plans for oil drilling deep in the ocean off Australia’s south coast following a sustained campaign from environmentalists who said the project posed too big a risk to the vast and unique marine ecosystem." (Bloomberg)
"This may be the nail in the coffin."
Who said it: Laura Lau of the investment firm Brompton, quoted in Bloomberg on Teck Resources' decision Sunday to scrap plans for the big Frontier sands mine in Canada.
Why it matters: Their piece says that there may never be another big new mine built in the Canadian oil sands.