Good morning from New York City, where I'll be moderating an event this evening about offshore wind at Columbia University. If you're in town, shoot me a note!
My latest Harder Line column is timely and full of exclusive details, so you won't want to miss it. It's about the industry push to get President Trump to keep Obama's other big climate policy: the Kigali amendment to the Montreal Protocol (which, by the way, turned 30 years old on Saturday).
My Axios colleague Ben Geman will get you up to speed on everything else after my column, including all the rumors around the higher profile Paris deal. Let's get to it...
The world's biggest air conditioning and chemical companies are urging Trump to defend one of his predecessor's landmark climate policies, the Kigali amendment. So far it's working.
Why it matters: The policy, to phase down greenhouse gases emitted from refrigerants in appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators, is the only Obama-era climate policy Trump hasn't targeted for repeal. Companies, led by global chemical makers Honeywell and Chemours, are lobbying the administration to defend a regulation and support a global treaty on the issue, according to industry officials, administration officials and others involved in the issue.
Bottom line: Companies have spent millions complying with the policy and other similar standards around the world over the past several years — and they don't want that money to go to waste. To the industry and administration, this is more about financial investments than it is about climate change. That makes it non-controversial compared with the Paris climate deal.
Read the rest on the Axios stream here.
Big decision: The U.S. International Trade Commission faces a Friday deadline to decide whether imported solar cells and modules are injuring the domestic panel manufacturing industry. If they decide the answer is yes — and most expect they will — the focus moves to what type of trade penalties the White House may decide to impose.
Nominations in focus, part 1: The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote Tuesday on White House nominees for two open slots on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as picks for senior roles at the Interior and Energy Departments.
Nominations in focus, part 2: On Wednesday the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hear from nominees for several senior positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Bill Wehrum, Trump's pick to be the agency's top air pollution regulator.
Pipeline push: Texans for Natural Gas is stepping up its pro-pipeline digital advocacy this week with the launch of a social media campaign via Twitter, internet ads, and a mobile-focused Facebook push that a spokesman tells Axios will run well into the six figures.
Buzz: The big question right now is whether this week's U.N. General Assembly meeting and sideline chatter will reveal...
What's next: White House economic advisor Gary Cohn is slated to host a breakfast meeting in New York this morning with energy and climate officials from other nations.
Where it stands: All heck broke loose over the weekend when the WSJ, citing comments by White House advisor Everett Eissenstat at a meeting in Canada, reported that the U.S. would not withdraw from Paris, a report the WSJ later softened.
What's new: Nothing and everything. The Trump administration's position, spelled out in June, is that the U.S. is theoretically open to staying in Paris under some kind of revised terms.
The Cohn meeting could be a sign that the White House is perhaps cracking open the door a bit wider to the idea of staying.
Continuing our discussion of comments surrounding the administration's stance on the Paris climate accord, is Andrew Light, who was a senior climate aide in Obama's State Department. He assesses the state of play and known unknowns in an email to Axios on Sunday evening...
Thought bubble: There are two things to keep in mind here.
Flashback: There's precedent here. George W. Bush is correctly remembered for bailing on his campaign pledge to regulate carbon emissions. Less well remembered is that late in his presidency, Bush convened something called the "major economies meeting on energy security and climate change," the predecessor to the Obama administration-led Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate that met for years.
ICYMI: The New York Times published an important piece from China on Friday, reporting that General Motors chief executive Mary Barra "cautioned against the growing trend of officials in China and a number of other countries making plans to phase out sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars."
Oil markets: Bloomberg reports on concerns of a top International Energy Agency analyst that there's not enough industry spending on new supply projects to avoid a crunch in coming years. Here's what they quoted Neil Atkinson, head of IEA's oil markets division, as saying in Bahrain Sunday:
In my ears: The latest edition of The Interchange, one of Greentech Media's podcasts, is a timely discussion of the role microgrids can play in helping to create resilience to powerful storms that wreak havoc on traditional power networks — and how some policymakers' reluctance to address climate change head-on in their planning (hello Florida) could affect deployment of the technology.
Arctic policy: The Washington Post reports on a quiet Interior Department effort to enable industry seismic testing to gauge oil resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, even though drilling in the Alaska region remains banned and would require an act of Congress to allow.