Good morning and welcome back to Generate!
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Ok, let's dive in . . .
An analysis circulated Tuesday concludes that President Trump's sweeping push to bolster fossil fuels across the board by cutting regulations and production constraints means natural gas will likely keep and even expand its advantage over coal in electricity markets.
Why it matters: The presentation from the Brattle Group, an energy-focused consultancy, highlights a major tension running through Trump's pro-fossil fuel initiatives: Helping coal is tougher when you're supporting natural gas too.
What they examined: Brattle forecast the production and employment effect of pro-coal policies, like killing EPA's big power industry climate rule and rolling back mining regulations, in concert with the Trump administration's wider support of fossil fuels.
The bottom line: Their analysis predicts that the pro-coal efforts in isolation would indeed likely boost production of coal used for power generation and mining jobs, compared to what's expected under the baseline of Obama-era rules in the near-term (2020) and medium term (2030).
Yes, but: Combined with policies that affect oil-and-gas producers, like making more areas available for drilling and cutting royalties, Trump's overall approach (the "pro-fossil" case in the chart above) is actually forecast to be worse for coal than the Obama policy baseline.
Aramco IPO: Via Bloomberg, "Saudi Arabia is still aiming to complete both international and domestic portions of the initial public offering of its state oil company in 2018, Oil Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Tuesday."
Iran's stance: Via CNBC, Iran's deputy oil minister said that the country is plowing ahead with deals with big oil-and-gas companies despite new uncertainty about U.S. policy, saying the potential for revived U.S. sanctions "has little or no effect on our future plan in the oil industry."
Shale slowdown: The Financial Times published a visually interesting, graphics-heavy piece that explores whether the U.S. shale drilling boom is showing signs of wear and tear. "Over the past year...the productivity gains seemed to have slowed considerably, suggesting that the revolutionary era for progress in shale is over," they report.
What EVs mean for utilities: A new Deloitte report looks at opportunities created for power companies by the expansion of electric vehicles. They argue that EVs can help utilities overcome three big challenges: stagnant demand for their product, the need to seamlessly integrate renewable and distributed resources, and the need for greater consumer engagement and new services.
The report's suite of recommendations for power companies include:
FERC: Utility Dive has the latest on the controversial Energy Department push for the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to write new power market rules that would boost compensation for coal and nuclear plants. FERC member Cheryl LaFleur tells the publication that DOE's proposal is not detailed enough to form a final rule and that more time is needed than DOE's 60 day timeframe.
Congress, part 1: The Environment and Public Works Committee has postponed Wednesday's votes on several EPA nominees. The committee didn't give a reason.
Congress, part 2: The Hill reports Senate Democrats are planning a budget amendment aimed at stripping provisions that pave the way for legislation that would enable oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
My colleague Amy Harder has a piece in the Axios stream on the politics of low-carbon energy...
New wrinkle: The conservative think tank American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) is releasing a report today showing how tax reform could help clean-energy technologies. Think tanks release reports almost every day, but this one stands out for three reasons:
Highlights from the report, conducted by independent consultant David Montgomery:
Click here for the rest of the story.
The new International Energy Agency report on natural gas markets has a useful comparison of two very, very different times in the U.S., showing what happened — and then what didn't — when hurricanes pummeled the Gulf Coast 12 years ago and in 2017.
Sign of the times: The charts above show how the storms of 2005 sent gas prices spiking at a time before the shale boom when U.S. production was much lower, prices were much higher, and the Gulf of Mexico accounted for a larger share than it does now.
Yes, but: The expansion of LNG export infrastructure under development in Gulf creates new hurricane-related vulnerabilities — ones that could affect the increasingly global gas trade as U.S. exports grow.
Fall colors: Now that it's starting to feel like autumn in D.C., this lovely shot of New England foliage feels right. Via the Interior Department's Instagram feed, this is the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine.