Good morning and welcome back!
Tomorrow will mark the birthday of The Rolling Stones' guitarist Ron Wood, who joined the band in the mid-70s. So we'll get started with something from that era...
Several recent reports highlight the damage from massive global plastics consumption and the challenge of tackling the problem.
In focus: The chart above shows a stunning statistic highlighted in one of the recent reports — global plastics production grew to over 400 million tons in 2015.
Why it matters: Plastic bags, bottles and many other wastes are causing widespread harm to marine and coastal ecosystems — and as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's May 24 report reminds us, the problem is getting worse.
Fresh evidence of the environmental problem...
Why it matters for energy: Plastics are a major source of oil demand. They currently account for around 4%–8% of worldwide oil and gas consumption, per the OECD.
Go deeper: Read the full story in the Axios stream.
Two items caught my eye about how large oil-and-gas companies are positioning themselves for a lower-carbon world (eventually)...
1. The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies explores the decision-making behind how the industry and oil-exporting countries should approach the rise of renewables and the long-term move away from carbon-intensive fuels, in this new paper.
2. The Financial Times this morning looks at oil-and-gas majors' growing investments in the electric vehicle charging and battery space.
Trendspotting: An interesting analysis over at The Conversation shows that a number of GOP mayors are taking steps to make their cities less carbon-intensive, but shy away from overt advocacy.
Why it matters: The post suggests that local steps on global warming may have a more bipartisan foundation — if you look for it — compared to where climate policy stands at the federal level.
Quoted: "In our research at the Boston University Initiative on Cities, we found that large-city Republican mayors shy away from climate network memberships and their associated framing of the problem," writes Boston University research fellow Nicolas Gunkel.
One level deeper: Gunkel looks at planning documents from the 29 largest cities led by GOP mayors.
Solar: Via Greentech Media, Hanwha Q Cells Korea Corporation announced Wednesday that it's building solar PV module manufacturing facility in Georgia that's set to be completed in 2019.
Exxon and climate: Per Reuters, "ExxonMobil's chief executive said on Wednesday he hopes the new attorney general in New York 'comes to a different conclusion' than predecessor Eric Schneiderman on a climate change probe into the world's largest publicly traded oil producer."
Disclosure: Per S&P Global Platts, "Despite calling their decisions to not report tax information both 'unprecedented' and 'disappointing,' the chairman of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative said Wednesday that he would not recommend Chevron and ExxonMobil be removed from the initiative."
LNG deal: Via Bloomberg, "Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd. agreed to take a 25 percent stake in a proposed liquefied natural gas project in Canada led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc."
Axios' Amy Harder reports that investors rejected two non-binding but symbolically important shareholder resolutions related to climate change at Chevron’s annual meeting Wednesday.
Driving the news: One resolution calling for more action cutting methane emissions narrowly failed at 45%. Another more aggressive proposal calling for the oil giant to suggest ways to lessen its production of fossil fuels received just 8%, according to As You Sow, a nonprofit group that filed the resolutions on behalf of some Chevron investors.
The big picture: These votes are the latest in a trend of investors increasingly calling on publicly held fossil-fuel companies to be more transparent about how policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions could impact their bottom lines despite President Trump's retreat on the issue.
Between the lines:
Climate change: The Center for Carbon Removal, which promotes technologies aimed at pulling out atmospheric carbon that has already been emitted, has brought on Cassidy & Associates.
Batteries: The Taiwanese company Pihsiang has retained the The Washington Advocacy Group for work on establishing their U.S. business operations, a new filing shows.
Power: PacifiCorp Energy has tapped K&L Gates for work related to "review of environmental mitigation studies related to hydropower licenses," according to this filing.
Biofuels: The Small Refinery Owners Ad Hoc Coalition has retained Perkins Coie for work on topics around the Renewable Fuel Standard, according to a new filing that lists the "effective date" of the registration as October of last year.
Solar: The big residential solar company Sunrun has brought on Cassidy & Associates for work on federal regulatory matters, this filing shows.
Trade: The energy company Hydromine has tapped Farragut Partners for work on topics including promotion of U.S. trade and investment in Africa and "development of renewable energy projects in the U.S. and abroad," a filing shows.