Good morning! And happy belated birthday to Rush's Alex Lifeson, whose guitar gets us going today...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Facebook plans to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in 2020 and power its worldwide operations solely with renewable energy by the end of that year, the company said Tuesday.
Why it matters: Data centers for major tech companies suck up lots of power — those operations accounted for the vast bulk of Facebook's 2.46 million megawatt hours of electricity use last year.
Context: That's enough to power over 228,000 average American homes, according to a back of the envelope calculation using Energy Information Administration data on average residential power use.
The big picture: Tuesday's announcement is the tech giant's first greenhouse gas target. And it expands on a prior pledge of getting 50% of its power from renewables, which the company says it reached last year.
How it works: Facebook said it will use a variety of contracting methods, such as renewable energy tariffs and direct power purchase agreements, to meet its renewables target.
Go deeper: The corporate renewables surge.
President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador at an Aug. 20 press conference. Photo: Carlos Tischler via Getty Images
Anna Mikulska, an Axios Expert Voices contributor, explores Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador's (AMLO) proposed a ban on fracking last month, which would prevent the country from tapping its potentially vast shale resources.
Despite Mexico's rising natural gas demand and increasing dependence on natural gas imports, the country's shale reserves so far have not figured into its energy reform.
The big picture: While a shale ban might have long-term effects on Mexico's economy, it's unlikely to do so during AMLO's term, which is limited to 6 years. Because of structural barriers to shale extraction that would nevertheless persist in that timespan, even a complete ban on fracking wouldn't significantly impact the Mexican energy sector.
Several factors hinder Mexico from reaching a rapid success akin to that of the U.S. shale revolution.
Read more of Mikulska's piece in the Axios stream.
Mikulska is nonresident fellow in energy studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute's Center for Energy Studies and a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.
Via Axios' Amy Harder... A window into how a warmer world affects local energy debates just unfolded in Spokane, a city in eastern Washington state that has had unprecedented bad air quality on par with Asia’s polluted cities because of wildfire smoke in the region.
Driving the news: The Spokane City Council last week approved an ordinance setting a goal to get 100% renewable electricity by 2030, according to The Spokesman Review. It’s one of dozens of American cities pledging more renewable energy.
Quoted: “Not normal,” City Council President Ben Stuckart, a Democrat, tweeted before last week’s meeting, per The Inlander, another local publication. "Unsustainable. Patios sit empty. Trail systems unhiked. Need masks just to get to work. Public pools closed. We need to take responsibility for our climate future or watch our future burn up.”
Go deeper: Read Amy's full story in the Axios stream.
Bloomberg has some in-depth reporting on what the loss of Arctic sea ice means for the LNG industry.
"Their cargoes have traversed the region for the first time this year without icebreakers, shaving days off shipping times and unlocking supplies from difficult-to-reach fields in Siberia," they report.
Why it matters: The new access for LNG ships is one sign of how climate change is opening up a new era for Arctic shipping.
Winners: More from Bloomberg's reporting...
The big picture: During the period from 1979 to 2017, sea ice has declined by about 33,200 square miles per year, or 13.2% per decade compared to the 1981–2010 average, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Europe's electric vehicle fleet now totals over one million vehicles on the strength of sales in the first half of 2018 that are 42% above last year's levels for the period, according to the data tracking firm EV Volumes.
Why it matters: The figure, which includes battery EVs and plug-in hybrids, is a symbolic milestone that nonetheless signals the rapid growth of the technology, albeit from a very small base.
The big picture: Via The Guardian, "Europe hit the [1 million] milestone nearly a year after China, which has a much larger car market, but ahead of the US, which is expected to reach the landmark later this year driven by the appetite for Tesla’s latest model."
The intrigue: They expect the continent's fleet to reach 1.35 million by year's end, but also warned that a "caveat" for high growth during the second half of the year is availability of supply.
Aramco's future: Reuters reports on the drama around why Saudi Aramco's plans for a massive IPO — an initiative of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — have apparently been scuttled.
Tesla's future: Via the Wall Street Journal, "Now that Mr. Musk has squashed efforts to take Tesla Inc. private, the spotlight will turn back to the auto maker’s operational challenges, namely whether it can maintain its grueling production pace for the Model 3 to meet customer demand and generate cash to stave off fundraising."
"More air conditioning will place added strain on the electrical grid by increasing peak demand. To avoid blackouts, utilities will have to make costly upgrades, such as additional generating capacity, substations and energy storage facilities, to meet demand during hot months."