Good morning. Today's Smart Brevity count: 959 words, < 4 minutes.
Situational awareness: Florida is already feeling the force of Hurricane Dorian as it crawls slowly toward its coast, with powerful winds and ongoing coastal flooding reported in the state Tuesday morning, per Axios' Rebecca Falconer.
Finally, at this moment 35 years ago, the indomitable Tina Turner was atop the Billboard singles charts with today's intro tune...
There's new evidence that Saudi Arabia is serious about moving ahead with a mammoth IPO of shares in state oil giant Aramco after years of delays and uncertainty.
Driving the news: Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih will be replaced as chairman of Aramco by Yasir al-Rumayyan, head of the kingdom's sovereign wealth fund.
Why it matters: The Aramco IPO is poised to be the biggest in history. Selling a slice of the company is designed to raise tens of billions of dollars to help finance diversification of the kingdom's economy.
Where it stands: Kingdom officials had previously said they're planning a listing in the 2020–2021 timeframe, but hadn't identified an international exchange.
What they're saying: Oil analyst Ellen Wald, author of the book Saudi, Inc., tells me...
"On one hand, the move is good for the upcoming Aramco IPO because it creates plausible separation for legal anti-trust purposes between the company and Saudi Arabia’s OPEC position."
"On the other hand, an oil company needs to be overseen by an oil man or oil woman, not a venture capitalist or financier like Rumayyan, who lacks experience in the energy industry. "
The intrigue: The news hit just 3 days after a royal decree created a new Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, which removed al-Falih's oversight of those sectors. He remains the country's oil minister.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Democratic 2020 hopefuls will talk — and talk and talk — about climate change tomorrow when CNN hosts a 7-hour town hall on the topic.
Driving the news: It coincidentally comes as one effect of a warming world — more intense storms — is in the headlines, thanks to Hurricane Dorian.
Why it matters: Polls show Democratic voters are worried about climate. And the last year has brought major scientific reports on warming's dangers — and the narrow window for aggressive steps to hold temperature rise within 2°C above preindustrial levels.
What we're watching: Here are a few of the many things I'll be looking for...
ExxonMobil has fallen out of the top 10 largest companies in the S&P 500, per end-of-August rankings by market capitalization.
The big picture: It's first time since the index launched in 1957 that no oil-and-gas companies have been in the top 10, per the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
Why it matters: According to Bloomberg, which predicted Exxon's drop, it's the "consummation of a long-term trend of tech titans replacing industrial giants in the top ranks of U.S. stock market."
One way carmakers comply with increasing fuel economy standards — even without selling many hybrids or electric cars — is by using the regulatory credits they stockpiled from previous years or purchased from competitors.
Driving the news: The availability of future credits will depend on how the fight between California and the Trump administration shakes out over mileage and emissions rules, Axios' Joann Muller writes.
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Speaking of EVs, it looks like the timing of Ford's planned battery-powered F-150 pickup is coming into focus. A company executive tells Autocar that it will come "before 2022" (h/t Electrek).
Wind: Via Windpower Monthly this morning, "Facebook will purchase the output from a 38% share of the 525MW Aviator Wind project in Coke Country, central Texas."
Solar: Per Reuters, "French utility Engie said in a statement it had bought African offgrid solar firm Mobisol, adding the acquisition would make it African market leader in that industry."
Oil-and-gas: MarketWatch reports, "Concho Resources Inc. said Tuesday it has agreed to sell its assets in the New Mexico Shelf to an affiliate of Spur Energy Partners LLC for $925 million."