Good morning. Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,263 words, < 5 minutes.
Reminder: World Central Kitchen is working to feed vulnerable people and help the badly distressed restaurant sector at the same time. Donate here.
🎸And Saturday marked the birthday of late blues guitarist Albert King, who brilliantly plays us into the edition...
A New Zealand BP petrol station showing the decline in prices on April 11. Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
Oil-and-gas giant BP reported an extremely steep decline in quarterly profits on Tuesday in a stark sign of how the collapse in demand and prices is affecting the world's biggest producers.
Driving the news: The London-based multinational posted a quarterly profit of roughly $800 million, a two-thirds drop from $2.4 billion in the same period last year.
Why it matters: The report provides fresh detail into how the sector is planning to navigate a tough new landscape.
What's next: More tough reports. Shell posts its results on Thursday, followed by ExxonMobil and Chevron on Friday.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Duke Energy proposed Tuesday that its future electricity mix rely heavily on renewables and nuclear power to reach its 2050 goal to be carbon neutral, Axios' Amy Harder reports.
Why it matters: As one of America’s largest utilities, Duke’s sketch of this potential future is a bellwether for how a range of companies and states hope to achieve their similarly aggressive goals in the next 30 years.
Where it stands: Duke said in a report that huge leaps in innovation must happen in order to achieve its carbon-neutral goal by 2050, a target roughly in line with the Paris climate agreement.
But, but, but: Duke's 2050 scenario also relies heavily on a vague bucket of low-carbon technologies that aren’t commercially viable yet, which could include small modular reactors or equipment that can capture carbon emissions from natural gas plants.
By the numbers: Duke’s 2019 → 2050 generation mix...
One thing that will affect post-pandemic oil demand and carbon emissions is how quickly — and how much — driving ultimately bounces back compared to other modes of moving around.
Driving the news: Rough proxy data via Apple provides early signs that driving is starting to come back in a number of U.S. cities, while light rail and bus use basically isn't (yet).
Why it matters: Shelter-in-place restrictions worldwide have radically cut down on travel during the pandemic, but it's not yet clear if post-crisis travel patterns and decisions will ever be completely the same.
Where it stands: A much clearer picture will emerge in the months and years ahead. But already there are other signs that car travel is beginning to come back.
The intrigue: There's all kinds of variable and uncertainties. We're in the early stages. But the future could mean...
Go deeper: The post-pandemic landscape may favor cars
Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney, U.S. Coast Guard
Oil tankers are parked off the California coast instead of unloading — a stark sign of the global glut now that demand has collapsed and storage is filling up.
Driving the news: There are 20 oil tankers anchored off Southern California ports, with 15 that may remain for an unknown and extended period, while five are slated to offload in the next several days.
The big picture: "About three dozen massive oil tankers are anchored from Los Angeles and Long Beach up to San Francisco Bay, turning into floating storage for crude oil that is in short demand because of the coronavirus," NPR reports.
Go deeper: 13 stunning photos of supertankers and storage tanks reveal the global oil glut in epic proportions (Business Insider)
U.S. adults worried about human-induced climate change report wearing face masks in public in substantially higher percentages than people who are not concerned about it, new Morning Consult polling shows.
The big picture: 54% of adults who are concerned about climate and agree with the scientific consensus on human causation said they "always" wear a mask over the past month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Why it matters: Let's clear the decks by noting that correlation is not causation! But Morning Consult quotes experts who see some psychological overlap between views on climate change and behavioral responses to COVID-19.
What they're saying: Emma Frances Bloomfield, an expert in science communication and controversy with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sees several potential reasons for overlap.
Methodology: "The poll surveyed 2,200 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points. The climate-concerned and climate-unconcerned cohorts have 3- and 4-point margins of error, respectively."
Coal: "As silent factories and deserted offices hobble demand for electricity worldwide, the biggest loser is coal. ... Even in China and India, where coal still dominates, it’s losing market share during the pandemic." (Bloomberg)
Politics: "Joe Biden's campaign recently met with the Sunrise Movement and other progressive groups amid efforts by the presumptive Democratic nominee to unify the party's base and potentially expand his climate plan." (E&E News)
Electric cars: "On Monday, Tesla reversed course and canceled requests to bring workers back to production lines in Fremont, California, this week." (CNBC)