Happy holidays, Generate readers! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,372 words, ~5 minutes.
We'll be on break until Jan. 2. And speaking of our hiatus, we'll miss the birthday of the late Rick Danko of The Band, who bring us into the weekend...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Last night's debate nicely encapsulated the way that climate change has become stitched into the fabric of wider Democratic policy and messaging on many topics.
Driving the news: The segment on climate and other answers included the following comments (and this is not a comprehensive list)...
Quick take: While a huge Green New Deal-style mobilization lacks legs in Congress, it's all-encompassing conceptual framing — climate as inseparable from industrial policy, human rights and much more — is carrying the day.
Whether that proves to be a political winner in a general election is TBD.
Warren said that while she's against building new nuclear plants, the need to stem carbon emissions means "we need to keep some of our nuclear in place."
And a moment of candor from Biden when asked whether he'd sacrifice some U.S. oil-and-gas production growth even knowing it could displace workers in those sectors.
"The answer is yes because the opportunity for those workers to transition to high-paying jobs...is real," he said, talking up jobs in low-carbon infrastructure.
Elizabeth Warren is making an economically focused push on climate as she seeks to regain momentum after briefly challenging for frontrunner status months ago.
Driving the news: This morning Warren is out with new details and claims about her climate, energy and infrastructure platforms.
The big picture: Warren's campaign released a document asserting her various plans would provide $10.7 trillion in combined federal and private investment.
The details: The analysis from Data for Progress, a young outfit with growing cachet on the left, looked at potential jobs in energy, water infrastructure, transportation, and buildings.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration had projected in 2010 that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions would continue rising, albeit, at a slower pace, Amy reports.
Reality check: In fact, they dropped. Obama administration's environmental rules, combined with plentiful natural gas supplies pushing down coal in the power mix, drove this change. More recently, wind and solar growth are accelerating this trend.
Why it matters: It underscores how predicting the future of energy systems is a fraught and tricky thing. Stay tuned Monday for Amy's Harder Line column, which will assess how other decade-old projections did in the energy space.
What’s next: Generate is off until Jan. 2, so read (or sign up for) the Axios AM newsletter to catch Amy’s column.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday issued an instantly controversial order aimed at revising how power providers bid into a key market.
Why it matters: The order affects the PJM Interconnection, the grid operator for Ohio, Pennsylvania and a bunch of other states.
It affects competition to enter the capacity market, which refers to the amount of resources that need to be available to meet demand increases.
Driving the news: Via Reuters, the move would "force state-subsidized solar and wind electricity providers to raise market bids, a move that renewable energy companies and environmental groups blasted as a partisan attempt to protect fossil fuels."
What they're saying: The nuclear industry, environmental and renewables groups attacked the move.
Coal-affiliated groups praised the 2-1 decision in a comment that echoed FERC Chairman Neil Chatterjee, who said it would "safeguard the competitiveness" of the PJM capacity market.
The big picture: "We view today’s order as positive for existing natural gas and coal unit owners and negative for owners of nuclear units eligible for [zero-emissions credits] and developers of new renewable energy, demand response, storage and energy efficiency projects," the research firm ClearView Energy Partners said in a note.
Go deeper: FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market (Greentech Media)
A newly released poll shows that 46 percent of U.S. homeowners say they have seriously considered installing solar panels at their homes, Axios' Orion Rummler reports.
Why it matters: The Pew Research Center poll signals that the residential solar market has lots of room for growth.
The survey notes that only 6% of homeowners polled have already installed systems. (Note: Per the Solar Energy Industries Association, the percent of single-family homes with solar is lower.)
The intrigue: Pew asked what motivates respondents who said they're considering investments in solar systems. The chart above shows what they found.
The big picture: The residential solar market had a record-setting Q3, SEIA's latest market report shows. But the industry is also facing headwinds.
By the numbers: The survey has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.5%. On the question of what's motivating homeowners considering solar, it's 3.5%.
One of the higher-profile energy topics in the primary fight has been a push by several Democrats to ban or restrict fracking (although it didn't surface last night).
Driving the news: A new note from the data analytics firm Kayrros sizes up what a president might actually be able to do — thwart fracking on federal lands.
They account for a relatively small but hardly trivial share of U.S. oil and gas production.
What they found: "Federal-land fracking does not represent an irreplaceable share of U.S. [oil] production, neither is it a footnote — thanks in part to the fact that wells on Federal leases have been punching above their weight," they note.
How it works: Their analysis shows that the New Mexico side of a key section of the booming Permian basin (which is largely in Texas) is the epicenter of fracked oil wells on federal lands.
Wells drilled on the New Mexico side of the Delaware basin, a subsection of the larger Permian, beginning 2018 account for 17% of U.S. production growth since then.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday released a study on the effect of some candidates' calls to ban fracking on all U.S. lands.
It's a goal of Sanders and Warren that would require congressional action that's very unlikely to occur.
What they're saying: The analysis, which looks at oil and natural gas production, argues it would be "catastrophic" for the economy, cost millions of jobs (4 million in 2021 alone); and send heating cost and pump prices skyward.