Good morning and welcome back. DCers — Join Mike Allen tomorrow for the fourth leg of Axios' Smarter Faster Revolution tour at Howard University!
He'll be discussing the Future of Work with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, comedian and activist Baratunde Thurston, AOL co-founder and Revolution CEO Steve Case, and MSNBC's Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle. To RSVP click here.
Also, you might be wondering what song was beginning a long stint atop the Billboard charts almost exactly 40 years ago. The answer is today's intro tune . . .
New signs: The Wall Street Journal has the latest evidence that Saudi Arabia is delaying and potentially scaling back plans for the IPO of state oil giant Aramco.
The paper reported late yesterday afternoon that the Saudis will move ahead next year with a listing only on their domestic exchange, called the Tadawul, while "taking more time to decide if an international venue is worth it."
The U.S. might be out of the running, per WSJ:
One level deeper: A new post at the Council on Foreign Relations points out that pursuing a Tadawul-only listing carries its own risks.
The intrigue: The WSJ story arrived on the eve of President Trump's meeting today with bin Salman. Trump has urged the Saudis to select the U.S. as the international venue for what could be the largest IPO ever.
The agenda: "The two will discuss infrastructure projects, Russia's role in Syria, the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and the Iranian nuclear deal, a senior administration official said Monday," CNBC reports.
You may have heard about the perils of assuming that geoengineering can work technically and economically enough at scale to mitigate global warming.
Counterintuitive danger: But a new paper from two MIT economists flips this on its head to reach a sobering conclusion — geoengineering may fail to become a savior precisely because breakthroughs are achieved in the future.
What this means: They say this could could sap investments in low-carbon energy tech because companies will conclude that the prospect of steep carbon taxes coming to pass is not credible.
In their words: In the paper, which the National Bureau of Economic Research circulated on Monday, authors Daron Acemoglu and Will Rafey write:
My Axios colleague Amy Harder notes that the U.S. is quickly ramping up its exports of liquefied natural gas to record levels.
Why it matters: The increase, highlighted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration Monday, is a product of the fracking boom over the last decade that has made America the world’s largest producer of natural gas.
One level deeper:
HSBC is out with a comprehensive analysis of nation-level vulnerability to climate change risks.
Speaking of climate change: Per Reuters, "More than 140 million people in Africa, Latin America and South Asia could move to another part of their country by 2050 to escape the worsening impacts of climate change — unless urgent action is taken to curb global warming and help people adapt, the World Bank said Monday."
Storage: Falling battery costs, strong policy support in several states and federal tax credits are together making battery storage a mainstream financial opportunity for power companies, according to a new Moody's analysis.
Cybersecurity: A reminder that Energy secretary Rick Perry will testify before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee this morning.
Key state policy: E&E News unpacks a closely watched decision. "Arizona regulators gave the state’s largest utility the cold shoulder last week, essentially rejecting Arizona Public Service Co.’s plans to double its natural gas fleet over the next 15 years," they report.
Bloom Energy IPO: WSJ reports that due to the restoration of "crucial tax credits," fuel-cell company Bloom Energy is again planning to go public.
My colleague Steve LeVine reports in the Axios stream...
Carmakers and tech companies are likely to considerably delay their rollout of fuller autonomous driving after the death of a pedestrian who was run over by a self-driven Uber, said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson.
What they're saying: In a note to clients, Johnson said the late Sunday night accident in Arizona shows that, while carmakers may be 90% or even 95% of the way to optimizing autonomous technology, "it’s the last 5–10% which is the toughest to achieve."
My thought bubble: The future of electric vehicles (EVs) can't be untethered from the deployment pace of self-driving technology.
* * *
Speaking of EVs: Bloomberg looks at the evolution of the world's largest auto market.
Amy's got some corporate news...
McDonald’s is announcing today its first-ever target addressing climate change, seeking to cut greenhouse gas emissions of its restaurants and offices by 36% in the next 12 years.
Why it matters: As one of the most recognizable brands on Earth, what McDonald’s does matters more than most. The fact it’s putting forth a concrete target, based on 2015 emissions levels, is the latest and one of the strongest signs yet of how corporate America is taking steps to address the issue despite the Trump administration reversing course.
Click here for more in the Axios stream.
Not what they wanted: Argus Media explains why oil-and-gas companies fretting over new tariffs on steel imports probably won’t have an easy time winning exemptions.
LNG: Two items caught my eye about upside and downside risks for U.S. LNG exporters...
Venezuela: Per Politico, “President Donald Trump has sanctioned Venezuela's new currency, the petro, a cryptocurrency that the U.S. government says is intended to evade international penalties on the nation's regime.”