On this date in 1985, Prince's "Around The World In A Day" began a three-week run atop the Billboard album charts. So one of those songs takes us into the weekend...
Axios' Amy Harder scoops... Pope Francis is hosting a gathering next week at the Vatican with executives of major oil producers and investment firms to talk about how the companies can address climate change, according to several people familiar with the event.
Why it matters: It’s one of the most significant developments showing how corporations are working with other world leaders on climate change amid President Trump’s whole-scale retreat on the issue.
Situational awareness: One year ago today, Trump announced his intention to withdraw America from the Paris Climate Agreement, which now has support from every country except the United States. Three years ago, Pope Francis wrote his encyclical — a papal letter sent to all bishops of the Roman Catholic Church — on the importance of addressing climate change, a first in the church’s history.
Here’s a partial list of expected participants in the private conference:
Go deeper: Amy's got much more in the Axios stream.
An exclusive Axios/SurveyMonkey poll finds that even though most of the public is still wary of electric vehicles, EV sales have room to grow massively in the U.S. — because even the small percentages of people who say they're interested suggest a market far bigger than the current one.
By the numbers: 14% of U.S. adults say they're either "extremely" or "very" likely to go electric with their next car purchase or lease, while a combined 62% said they would probably steer clear. Another 23% said they were "somewhat likely" to get an electric car.
The big picture: Sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars in the U.S. last year were close to 200,000 combined. That's a little more than 1% of the country's roughly 17 million auto sales.
Yes, but: There are still plenty of factors that can prevent pro-electric consumers from making the leap, including limits on vehicle availability in some regions and the number of models to choose from.
Go deeper: We've got more polling results in the Axios stream.
White House plan: Bloomberg broke a story last night about the emerging structure of long-discussed Trump administration efforts to aid economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
Why it matters: Per their story, the plan would "represent an unprecedented intervention into U.S. energy markets."
One level deeper: The news service obtained a memo — circulated ahead of a National Security Council meeting scheduled for today — describing plans for Energy Department use of emergency powers to force grid operators to buy power or power capacity from at-risk plants.
To be sure: Bloomberg notes that there's "no indication whether" Trump has signed off on the plan or when it might be implemented.
Between the lines: The story is the latest twist in intense political and lobbying battle over the fate of power plants that will or might go offline under market pressure from cheap natural gas, stagnant demand and the growth of renewables.
State of the market: Per Reuters, "Global oil markets have been roiled by a surprising divergence between the world’s major benchmarks, Brent crude and its U.S. counterpart, which in recent days have traded at odds with one another, wrongfooting investors betting on the exact opposite."
Tough out there: That Reuters item and this Wall Street Journal feature delve into an increasingly hot topic — how infrastructure constraints in the Permian Basin are creating financial headaches for producers.
Offshore: Shell on Thursday announced the start of production from from the first phase of its Kaikias project in the Gulf of Mexico, which the oil giant expects will produce up to 40,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per day.
Thursday brought a burst of state-level actions to support wider deployment of EVs despite recent administration moves to lessen efficiency standards (h/t to Bloomberg).
California: The state's public utilities commission approved $738 million worth of various charging infrastructure projects and initiatives by its three biggest power companies over five years, including:
New York: The state announced a $250 million plan to expand charging infrastructure. Via AP, the plan includes up to 200 fast-chargers along highways and certain urban areas. And...
New Jersey: The state's big power company, PSEG, announced a $300 million EV infrastructure plan as part of its much larger, five-year, multi-billion dollar investment cycle, per northjersey.com.
A tidal wave energy project at Gaza Port. Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Over in our Export Voices section, David Hume writes that tidal energy has been slow to develop into a reliable form of grid power, but recent demonstration projects suggest that might be changing.
Why it matters: If the technology continues to mature, tidal energy could become a significant renewable power source in many countries.
The problem: Although energy developers have long sought ways to exploit ocean tides to generate electricity, few large-scale projects are actually running in the water. That's because operating in the ocean poses a frustratingly difficult engineering problem: Corrosion, biofouling and extreme wave and current forces all contribute to the slow destruction of devices.
Tidal power's benefits:
What's new: Last month, Atlantis Resources, a U.K.–based tidal energy developer, announced that its MeyGen project has cumulatively delivered about 6 GWh to the grid since it was connected a year ago.
Read more of his full piece in the Axios stream.
Hume is a marine engineer contractor supporting the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office's marine renewable energy portfolio and founder of The Liquid Grid. The views expressed are his own.