Good morning! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,216 words, 4.5 minutes.
🎵March 1 will bring the birthday of Roger Daltrey of The Who, so they will play us into the news...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
A new analysis provides the latest evidence that the explosive growth of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft is making it harder to fight CO2 emissions from transportation.
Driving the news: The Union of Concerned Scientists studied the triple-whammy of trips replacing climate-friendly transit, inducing new travel and "deadhead" miles — that is, when ride-hailing vehicles move without passengers.
What they found: "A typical ride-hailing trip is about 69 percent more polluting than the trips it replaces, and can increase congestion during peak periods," it states.
Why it matters: Transportation is the nation's largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, overtaking electric power a few years ago.
The big picture: While the emissions analysis isn't in a peer-reviewed journal, it's directionally consistent with analyses of how ride-hailing is cannibalizing more climate-friendly modes of transit — like trains, bikes, buses and feet — and fueling congestion.
What they're saying: “Certainly the evidence to date points to an overall increase in greenhouse gas emissions associated with ride-hailing under current market conditions,” said Giovanni Circella of the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Davis, which provided some of the data used by UCS.
What's next: The report lays out a bunch of recommendations for ride-hailing companies and policymakers. Among them...
The intrigue: The accumulating evidence of ride-hailing's impact and the recent IPOs of Uber and Lyft are likely to create new pressure on the companies.
The chart above is a version of a graphic in the UCS report which uses data from the firm Schaller Consulting — showing the rapid growth of ride-hailing.
It's worth noting that Uber and Lyft — which have acknowledged some congestion effects — both have a bunch of sustainability and electrification programs.
What they're saying: Lyft pushed back against the UCS report and alleged the methodology was flawed and incomplete.
Lyft argues that it doesn't accurately capture how their service, by enabling people to forgo owning cars, prompts use of mass-transit and ride-hailing.
Uber, meanwhile, pointed to its own green efforts.
Oil prices are at their lowest levels in over a year and tumbled again early Thursday as the novel coronavirus spreads.
Why it matters: The accumulating evidence of the virus' toll on markets is putting an ever-brighter focus on next week's meeting of OPEC, Russia and allied producers.
The latest: The firm Rystad Energy this morning said it now expects Brent crude oil prices to average $56 for the year, down from $60 in their prior forecast.
What they're saying: "For now, what we know for sure is that the month of February will record the worst oil demand contraction since the Great Recession," S&P Global Platts analyst Claudio Galimberti said in a note.
Where it stands: Brent crude oil prices were $51.21 as we sent this newsletter.
The intrigue: This Wall Street Journal piece seeks to unpack why Russia has not yet gone along with efforts to deepen the joint production cutbacks with OPEC.
Following BP's decision to abandon three trade groups over differences on climate, two other pieces of news from the lobbying world caught my eye.
What's new, part 1: The Electric Power Supply Association said it supports a "price on carbon or other economy-wide, market-based mechanisms to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."
The intrigue: The announcement warns against a "rigid patchwork of state mandates."
What's new, part 2: The American Public Power Association, which represents community-owned utilities, this week approved a resolution laying out principles for climate legislation.
Go deeper: Public power utilities back climate push for first time (E&E News)($)
It's back! Or ... Maybe it's back. Or could eventually be back. Possibly.
The latest: Bloomberg reports that Saudi Aramco is "starting early preparations" for a potential listing in an international stock exchange at some point, which comes after its long-awaited debut on the Saudi exchange late last year.
The intrigue: Plans for an international listing have been a moving target for years, especially after the kingdom split the listing plan and focused on the domestic IPO, which finally happened in December and raised $29 billion.
Why it matters: It would bring a fresh infusion of capital into the kingdom, which is using the transformation of Aramco into a traded company to raise money to help with the country's economic diversification.
Coal: "U.S. regulators rejected a plan from mining companies Peabody Energy Corp. and Arch Coal Inc. to combine their operations in a major coal-production region, saying it would limit competition and raise prices." (Wall Street Journal)
Solar: "The coronavirus outbreak is threatening to slow the global solar-energy revolution as it cuts the supply of key equipment for solar and wind farms in China and beyond." (Bloomberg)
Pipelines: "Williams Companies Inc is seeking a partner to invest in a network of its pipelines in the western United States, a deal that could raise close to $5 billion for the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company, people familiar with the matter said." (Reuters)