Good morning! I'm a tad late to this, but congrats to Dire Straits on their election to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Or maybe I just need an excuse to head for the weekend with this brilliant tune . . .
Some corporate news, courtesy of my colleague Amy Harder . . .
European oil and natural gas giant BP announced Friday it's investing $200 million over 3 years in Lightsource, one of Europe's largest solar companies, to acquire a 43% stake in the business.
The big picture: This is another sign of how big oil is slowly and gradually investing in lower-carbon technologies, alongside continued investments in oil and natural gas. This trend is driven by a series of overlapping factors, such as the notion of slowing oil demand and investor concern about climate change.
Yes, but: This is a drop in the bucket compared with BP's nearly $2 billion net profit that it disclosed in its most recent quarterly earnings. BP's renewable-energy assets, which include wind farms in the U.S. and biofuels in Brazil, aren't "making a material difference to the bottom line," BP CEO Bob Dudley told an oil conference earlier this year.
Shale startup: A Warburg Pincus group says it will invest $780 million in an oil-exploration company called ATX Energy Partners — one of the largest private equity investments in a shale startup, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Joining forces: ExxonMobil and Petrobras announced yesterday that they have formed a "strategic alliance" to pursue "opportunities for cooperation in exploration, production, gas and chemicals both inside and outside Brazil."
Colliding: Bloomberg points out that OPEC and the International Energy Agency have contrasting estimates of how well the cartel and allied producers will fare in their bid to draw down excess global supply. The IEA is more pessimistic.
Arctic: With Congress on the brink of opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, this New York Times feature uses satellite imagery to look at the impact of the only well ever drilled there — called KIC-1 — in the mid-1980s.
Bankrupt: Houston-based multinational Cobalt International Energy filed for bankruptcy Thursday, Reuters reports.
Here's a few new or recent energy-themed podcasts that are worth your while . . .
Power markets: The latest podcast from the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania is a deep dive with Stu Bresler, a top official with PJM, the organization that oversees power markets in a number of states in the Midwest and East Coast.
Oil and gas: The consultancy Wood Mackenzie looks at what 2018 will bring for the oil and gas industry as prices have recovered, with the year expected to build on the 2017 uptick in decisions to move ahead with large projects.
Energy storage, part 1: The new episode of the Greentech Media podcast The Interchange explores the current and future states of energy storage technology and markets.
Energy storage, part 2: The latest edition of The Energy Transition Show is an in-depth discussion with Paul Denholm of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory about the pairing of solar power and storage systems
Congress: Bloomberg reports that the emerging House-Senate tax deal alters Senate language that renewable energy companies say would have badly undercut tax equity financing market.
Grid policy: Via Power Magazine, conclusions in a new report from the nonprofit orgnization that seeks to ensure power system reliability are at odds with Perry's claim that retirements of coal and nuclear plants will erode reliability.
Aviation: My colleague Haley Britzky looks at a study from the International Council on Clean Transportation, which shows that for the seventh year in a row, Alaska Airlines was the most fuel-efficient airline among U.S. carriers.
In case you missed this item in the Axios stream yesterday. . .
President Trump's pick to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality says her written responses to senators' questions represent “my views," despite some language that's identical to prior submissions from nominees for top EPA jobs.
Why it matters: White, a former Texas regulator now with the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, is in line for a key role coordinating administration environmental policy. It's not clear if the allegations will hinder her nomination, but she already had a somewhat rocky confirmation hearing last month.
White's comment comes in a letter seen by Axios. She prepared this in response to a Democratic Sen. Tom Carper's letter about her written answers to the Environment and Public Works panel, which vetted her nomination.
Click here for the rest.
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And some more news on nominations. . .
Yesterday the Senate voted to confirm two high-level EPA officials.