Good morning. Today's Smart Brevity count is: 1,248 words, < 5 minutes.
Situational awareness: "Shares in Saudi state oil giant Aramco will start trading on the Middle Eastern country’s stock exchange on Dec. 11, television news channel Al Arabiya reported, without identifying the source for the information," per Bloomberg.
Plus, this week marks 25 years since the late Tom Petty released the beautiful album "Wildflowers," which provides today's intro tune...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
There's stark new evidence that big automakers are divided over how to navigate White House moves to upend mileage and carbon emissions policies.
Driving the news: GM, Toyota, Fiat-Chrysler and others are now backing the Trump administration's move to yank California's power to impose CO2 rules — and by proxy mileage rules — that exceed federal standards.
The intrigue: Axios' Joann Muller points out that where automakers stand largely depends on their future product pipeline and where they think the market is headed.
Why it matters: California is the nation's biggest auto market and about a dozen states follow its lead on emissions rules.
What they're saying: "The automakers that made a previous deal with California may be questioning their actions if Trump wins a second term and successfully revokes California’s ability to set its own standards," Autotrader executive publisher Karl Brauer tells Axios.
Catch up fast: Don't forget the backstory to all of this.
What's next: Look out for final EPA and Transportation Department rules to revise the Obama-era standards.
A new note from the Rhodium Group helps explain why there's so much interest in the Trump vs. California fight.
What they did: The research firm modeled two scenarios out to 2035.
What they found: Freezing the standards and yanking the waiver would knock 7%–8% off nationwide ZEV sales — largely electric models — in 2035 relative to keeping the programs.
Why it matters: It underscores how policy is a key driver of EV adoption rates, even as more — and more affordable — models enter the market.
Murray Energy, the country's largest privately held coal company and third largest U.S. coal producer, announced Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Why it matters: The filing, the latest in a string of coal sector bankruptcies, underscores how power markets are moving away from coal in favor of natural gas and renewables.
Where it stands: Via Bloomberg, the filing is aimed at restructuring more than $2.7 billion worth of debt, and the bankruptcy court filing shows that it has reached a "support agreement with a group of lenders that provides a new $350 million loan to keep operations going during the reorganization."
The California Public Utilities Commission announced Monday it will open an investigation into a series of power shutoffs by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) that were meant to curtail wildfires, Axios' Ursula Perano reports.
Where it stands: PG&E began to cut power to more than 2 million people over the weekend in an attempt to prevent further fires.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Californians were without power Monday night, as firefighters raced to contain massive wildfires in Los Angeles and the wine country ahead of a forecast return to low humidity and extreme winds, Axios' Gigi Sukin and Rebecca Falconer write.
What to watch: As 15 major fires burned from Southern to Northern California Monday evening, some 605,000 customers in 29 counties could lose power in the winds Tuesday through Wednesday, per NYT.
The embattled utility's stock tumbled another 24% Monday and has lost half its already low value over the past few days.
Where it stands: Via AP, "Pacific Gas & Electric Co. power lines may have started two wildfires over the weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area, the utility said Monday, even though widespread blackouts were in place to prevent downed lines from starting fires during dangerously windy weather."
The big picture: "The larger the damage claims against the company, the less value will be available to distribute between bondholders and shareholders when the company comes out of bankruptcy court protection," WSJ reports.
BP announced a steep drop in profits Tuesday, citing lower oil prices, maintenance, and July's Hurricane Barry in the Gulf of Mexico that disrupted operations.
By the numbers: The oil-and-gas giant reported $2.3 billion in Q3 net profits, down from $3.8 billion in the same period last year.
What's next: Shell, Total SA, ExxonMobil and Chevron report their earnings later this week.
The big picture: A top BP official said this morning that the company will be offering new information, likely in the first quarter of 2020, about its approach to climate change.