Hello readers! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,045 words, ~ 4 minutes.
Situational awareness: The NYT reports Tuesday: "The White House, blindsided by a pact between California and four automakers to oppose President Trump’s auto emissions rollbacks, has mounted an effort to prevent any more from joining the other side."
And happy birthday to the late Isaac Hayes, who has today's terrific intro tune...
The Saudi Aramco oil field complex facilities at Shaybah in the Rub' al Khali. Photo: Reza/Getty Images
It's really back! Or at least really might be back.
Driving the news: This morning Bloomberg reports on concrete signs that Saudi Aramco is trying to move forward on its on-again, off-again, on-again plans for a mammoth IPO.
Why it matters: The listing of a slice of Aramco could be the largest IPO in history, and the proceeds are meant to help fund the kingdom's plans to diversify its crude-dominated economy.
But, but, but: All kinds of questions remain about the plans first announced in 2016, including the listing venue and Aramco's ability to hit anything close to their hoped-for $2 trillion valuation.
Meanwhile, Reuters has an interesting new piece this morning about how global warming could create hurdles for Saudi Aramco's plan to list 5% of the company, which the kingdom hopes will bring in up to $100 billion.
The big picture: "[S]ome investors and lawyers say the window to execute a sale at a juicy price is shrinking and Aramco will need to explain to prospective shareholders how it plans to profit in a lower-carbon world," they report.
The intrigue: The Saudis argue that their oil is well positioned even in an increasingly carbon-conscious world because their emissions per extracted barrel are lower than other big producers.
Go deeper: Saudi Arabia touts its crude oil CO2 edge
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The twin goals of decarbonizing energy while expanding global access warrant a new academic discipline to create a "common umbrella" for work scattered across multiple fields, a new Stanford-led paper argues.
Why it matters: The commentary published in the journal Joule is a recognition of the immensity and complexity of the challenges and the "considerable uncertainty about the best way to undertake them."
The big picture: They propose a discipline called "macro-energy systems" that focuses on the "large-scale, systems-level, long-term aspects of sustainable energy planning."
What they found: The paper says pulling together this scattered work, much of which began decades ago, would have several benefits under the "macro energy systems" umbrella, such as avoiding redundant efforts and establishing accepted methodologies.
For all the justified worries about Tesla's finances, they remain in a pretty good competitive spot in the EV market — for now.
The big picture: The chart above, via this new Cox Automotive report on the U.S. EV market, shows how the Silicon Valley company dominates the market for pure electric vehicle sales.
It's not the only recent data showing Tesla's strength in the EV market.
Speaking of the Cox analysis, they look at some of the hurdles facing EV adoption, based on their survey of roughly 2,500 consumers.
Why it matters: Overcoming consumer reticence is important for the growth of what remains a niche market, even as automakers big and small roll out new models.
Where it stands: 77% of respondents who are considering an EV purchase and 87% of those who are not say EVs are "somewhat" or "much more" expensive that gasoline-powered cars.
There's also fresh data on longstanding public concern about charging availability.
Jay Inslee, whose 2020 campaign is centered on climate change policy, was not one of the nine Democratic presidential candidates to get an invite to CNN's climate change town hall on Sept. 4, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.
Quick take: The irony. Inslee has helped to boost the topic's profile in the contest. Yet, that hasn't accrued to his benefit in the polls despite surveys showing the Democratic primary electorate cares a lot about global warming.
But, but, but: Inslee's campaign says he's participating in the separate candidate climate forum Sept. 19–20 at Georgetown that MSNBC is covering.
The intrigue: Sen. Kamala Harris, meanwhile, is not taking part in the CNN event because she has a scheduling conflict, the network reports.
If most of the world's proposed new coal facilities are ultimately built, their output would far exceed the level required to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, Axios Expert Voices contributor Justin Guay writes.
Driving the news: A Global Energy Monitor report found that 538 GW of coal plants are still under consideration around the world.
Background: According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 1.5 degree report, keeping warming below that threshold requires coal generation to decline 70% by 2030 and be phased out by 2050.
Between the lines: The GEM report does have some encouraging news — since 2010, only about one third of proposed plants have been built.
Guay directs global climate strategy at the Sunrise Project and advises the ClimateWorks Foundation.