Good morning. Today's Smart Brevity: 1,096 words, ~ 4 minutes.
Onto music ... At this moment in 1997, the Notorious B.I.G. was atop Billboard's rap charts (and would soon hit #1 in the Hot 100) with today's all-timer of an intro tune...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Breaking: Crude oil prices are dropping following China's announcement of retaliatory tariffs ranging from 5% to 10% on $75 billion of U.S. goods — including crude oil — in two batches on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15.
What's next: Per Bloomberg, the new 5% levy applied to crude oil takes effect next month.
Why it matters: The latest volley in the trade battle will feed existing concerns about the global economic slowdown hitting oil demand.
Where it stands: This morning, Brent was trading around $58.86 and WTI at $53.88.
Sen. Bernie Sanders' sweeping new $16 trillion climate and energy platform for his 2020 presidential campaign does not include a tax on carbon emissions.
Why it matters: There's a small reason and a big one.
The big picture: The proposal is a stark sign of how CO2 pricing has lost cachet on the left (to the dismay of some backers), at least as a central tool.
Where it stands: Consider that Sanders himself had proposed major CO2 tax measures in recent years.
Catch up fast: The plan nonetheless calls for tax code changes and other policies that would raise costs on fossil fuel producers.
The intrigue: That phrase sounds a bit like a CO2 tax.
Quick take: Stokes said in a series of tweets that Sanders' overall proposal has merits and flaws. Check it out.
The overlapping rise of electric vehicles, autonomous tech and ride-hailing must be managed correctly to ensure these disruptive forces better the environment and don't worsen congestion, a new report argues.
Driving the news: The nonprofit Rocky Mountain Institute explores mobility policy and tech in 3 huge markets — India, China and the U.S. — and lessons that can be drawn.
Check out the chart above, which helps to show the potential for these technologies to steer the direction of automobile adoption, given its lower but rising levels in China and India.
What they found: The report explores ways the 3 countries can learn from how markets are developing in the other nations. Some of the numerous examples are...
The bottom line: "Ensuring that rides in autonomous vehicles are both electrified and pooled can mitigate these congestion and pollution issues and provide reliable, low-cost mobility for a rapidly urbanizing society."
More analysis on the President Trump-California fight over auto regulations...
By the numbers: A piece in our Expert Voices section gets to the stakes. Megan Mahajan of the climate-focused consultancy Energy Innovation, talks about their modeling of what would happen if White House plans to freeze Obama-era CO2 and mileage rules takes effect...
The big picture: Cox Automotive senior economist Charlie Chesbrough explains why automakers have reason to compromise with California on what will effectively be tougher nationwide rules. In comments circulated to reporters, he said...
"Europe and China are already implementing significant fuel economy standards on their vehicle industries."
"If U.S. designed and manufactured products don’t achieve similar fuel economy and emissions levels, the domestic industry risks becoming regional companies only, with limited global growth prospects.”
One big question: Now that Trump is attacking automakers making a separate peace with California, will his public criticism affect their sales? Probably not, one expert tells me. Auto analyst Rebecca Lindland says...
“I think it is pretty rare that if somebody was thinking about buying a brand and something like this happens, they say, ‘That’s it. I’m definitely not buying the brand.’”
Solar: Walmart and Tesla "are looking to address all issues surrounding the solar installations at Walmart stores, the companies said late on Thursday, two days after the retailer sued the electric carmaker for 'widespread negligence' that led to repeated fires at the installations," Reuters reports.
Climate: The Amazon rainforest is burning faster than usual. This is most likely happening because of land clearance for agriculture, and it's expected to make efforts to fight climate change much harder if it doesn't stop soon.
2020: "The Democratic National Committee on Thursday rejected a proposal for an official climate change debate for the party’s presidential candidates, pitting party officials against activists who believe Democrats aren’t taking the issue seriously heading into 2020," per ABC News.