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Scenes from a fall: Crude oil prices tumbled again yesterday to reach 10-month lows, with WTI closing at $42.53 per barrel on NYMEX. Traders put more weight on new data about U.S. production increases than the drop in inventories, according to MarketWatch, which notes that Brent prices fell again too.
What Wall Street is thinking: CNBC reports that with oil's latest slide on Wednesday, "we are finally starting to see analysts on the Street throw in the towel and begin to take down 2017 earnings estimates." The piece notes that a number of firms like Morgan Stanley downgraded their oil company ratings.
The big sort: Reuters reports that the bear market highlights the differences among U.S. shale oil producers, "with the stronger promising to keep pumping even as prospects dim for some of their financially strapped peers."
A chic narrative in the wake of President Trump's decision to abandon the Paris deal and Obama-era rules is how much states, cities, and companies can fill the void.
Three new pieces caught my eye that examine this theme:
Urban myth: This long analysis in Greentech Media argues that despite all the attention to cities' climate plans, "it's time to stop with the empty platitudes and face reality."
The long, not-subtle headline: "No, Cities Are Not Actually Leading on Climate. Enough With the Mindless Cheerleading."
Not enough: Over at the online magazine Undark, Zack Colman looks at the topic and concludes: "The smattering of cities, states and corporations vowing to tackle such a global issue are likely to fall short."
But that said: Over at The Conversation, a pair of Vanderbilt University professors take stock of the role that private actors — "corporations, civic and advocacy groups, private citizens, and even the Catholic Church" — can take to cut emissions.
Their piece calls these players crucial due to analyses showing that emissions pledges by governments worldwide will not, in sum, come close to limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
Grid study: We'll have to wait a little longer for the rollout of the Energy Department's controversial study of the power grid, which was slated to surface later this month.
Perry on the Hill: Yesterday Energy secretary Rick Perry testified at his second of three budget hearings this week, this one before a Senate Appropriations panel.
What we learned:
Driving the news: Four nuclear reactors under construction in Georgia and South Carolina may not make it to the finish line due to financial woes engulfing Westinghouse Electric Company, which is building them.
Quotable: "Certainly, if the reactors were not to be finished I think that would be a very, very heavy blow to the future of nuclear power," former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz told Amy Harder in a recent interview.
The House passed legislation this week allowing the reactors to receive tax credits, which should help their chances, but the Senate is unlikely to make its move soon.
Lobbying: Yesterday I looked at whether the big oil companies that joined the Climate Leadership Council will put any real lobbying muscle behind the push for a carbon fee and dividend program (most people I spoke with are doubtful).
But as for whether the newly expanded council itself will lobby, the answer is, "not in the immediate future," according to CEO Ted Halstead.
Regulations: Amy has more on the pillar of the CLC plan that would nix emissions regulations in return for a tax. The World Resources Institute, a strategic partner in the CLC, doesn't support (yet anyway) repealing an Obama-era regulation to mandate emissions cuts at power plants.
Go deeper: The idea of giving up regulations in exchange for a carbon price has long been a sticking point in policy debates. Many environmentalists oppose removal of regulations, arguing they're a backstop in case carbon pricing doesn't cut emissions enough.
Trump: Last night the president attacked wind power in Iowa of all places, a state that gets the highest share of its power from wind in the country, at 37 percent.
Climate: The World Economic Forum has a sobering look at the reasons why a recent survey found that Chad is facing the greatest peril from climate change.
Power: Mississippi power regulators are pushing for Southern Company's troubled "clean coal" plant to instead simply use natural gas in order to eliminate "ratepayer risk for an unproven technology." The state's Public Service Commission will take up the issue at a July 6 meeting.
Billionaire: Axios tech reporter Ina Fried chatted with Richard Branson in San Francisco about a bunch of things, including his views on energy technology. He's excited about improvements to the battery, calling it "the most important thing right now for the world."
Pipeline: Via AP, a federal judge is months away from a decision about whether to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline while the federal officials conduct a more detailed environmental review.