Good morning and welcome back! I'll say it: Rod Stewart is underrated. It's also his birthday today.
So let's get to the news with this bit of sandy-voiced brilliance from long ago . . .
Line of people stretches across Pensacola beach in the June 2010 Hands Across the Sand protest against the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision late yesterday to remove all of Florida from the agency’s new offshore oil-and-gas leasing plan is immediately roiling the politics — and may complicate the legal future — of the sweeping proposal.
Why it matters: This announcement, which followed a meeting with GOP Florida Gov. Rick Scott, happened as the ink was still drying on the Trump administration's draft plan released last week.
The politics: Some narrowing of the plan wasn't unexpected. The draft plan's wide scope lets the administration expand industry's access while giving some anti-drilling coastal Republicans political wins by removing areas as it's refined in the bureaucratic process.
One big question that emerged last night is whether the immediate concession to Scott could create any legal headaches once the plan is finalized in a year or so and inevitable litigation by drilling opponents follows. Some administration critics say the answer is "yes."
Via my Axios colleague Amy Harder...
A near record amount of coal-powered electricity is poised to shut down this year, according to recently released federal data.
Why it matters: President Trump has promised to revive the coal industry, but virtually all objective market trends and analysis indicate that’s not going to happen in any sizable manner.
By the numbers:
Why it’s happening: A primary reason for the near-record amount of coal electricity shutdowns this year is persistently cheap natural gas prices.
Yes, but: Jell says EIA’s projections are based off announced intentions to shut down plants, which could change.
In the same short-term energy outlook, the EIA also says that U.S. crude oil production is expected to surpass 11 million barrels per day late next year.
Why it matters: The forecast, while consistent with rising U.S. output thanks to the shale boom, nonetheless highlights how the U.S. has again become a powerful force in global crude oil markets and a major challenge to big petro-states.
Go deeper: EIA's latest monthly outlook also boosted its 2018 U.S. production forecast to 10.3 million daily barrels. Last month EIA had projected a 2018 average of 9.9 million. Under either case, it would smash the prior annual average record of 9.6 million set in 1970.
Big picture on climate change: A new essay in Foreign Policy urges the national security establishment to step up its engagement on climate change risks. Anatol Lieven, an international politics expert with Georgetown University in Qatar and senior fellow at New America, writes:
Tesla's solar status: Via Reuters, "Tesla said on Tuesday it began manufacturing its premium solar roof tiles at the company's Buffalo, New York factory last month and has started surveying the homes of customers who made a deposit of $1,000 to reserve the product last year."
A mighty wind: "The global offshore wind market is set to grow at a 16 percent compound annual rate from 2017 to 2030, reaching a cumulative capacity of 115 gigawatts compared with 17.6 gigawatts today," reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Japan's EV problem: The New York Times has an interesting look at whether Japan's "vast ecosystem of carmakers and suppliers" is missing out on opportunities in electric vehicles, even though they're just a tiny market segment now.
On the record: The head of Washington's most powerful oil-and-gas lobbying group met the press yesterday. Here's a few takeaways from the speech and press conference by Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute...
NAFTA: Gerard repeatedly urged the administration to ensure that any changes to the trade agreement — which Trump has threatened to walk away from — don't mess up the robust cross-border energy trade. He said that the existing agreement should be left in place rather than abandoned if the negotiations over modernization don't work out.
Infrastructure: Gerard said policymakers weighing a big infrastructure package should expand the focus beyond "traditional" infrastructure — like highways, roads and bridges — to focus on making the regulatory and permitting process easier for the industry to build pipelines and other energy infrastructure.
Climate: API has opposed Obama-era global warming regulations. But Gerard said the group is not seeking a re-examination of the government's formal 2009 "endangerment finding" that greenhouse gases threaten humans.
More from Amy . . .
A top energy regulator responded Tuesday to an accusation by a former Trump campaign official that he is part of the “deep state” for rejecting a DOE plan to prop up coal and nuclear plants.
In response to the tweet, Neil Chatterjee, a Republican commissioner appointed by Trump to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told Axios: “From my standpoint, early in the process, people were calling me a political hack, trying to push [Republican] Leader [Mitch] McConnell’s and the administration’s agenda.”
“Today I got accused of being part of the deep state. When you’re getting hit on both sides it usually means you’re doing something right.”— Chatterjee says
Flashback: On Monday, FERC’s five-member commission, which includes four appointed by Trump last year, unanimously voted to reject the Energy Department’s plan that would have compensated coal and nuclear plants for being able to store fuel on site, which most other electricity sources can’t do.