Good morning! There's a lot going on, so let's get to it. A reminder that your (confidential) tips and feedback are always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By now you probably know that Environmental Protection Agency finally unveiled its proposal to nix the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a 2015 rule — which never took effect — that would have mandated cuts in carbon emissions from power plants.
A few takeaways...
Between the lines: The CPP is the most closely watched of the Obama-era climate rules, but it probably gets more attention than it deserves when it comes to the total U.S. emissions picture.
Yes, but: It's a key backstop that would have required continued emissions cuts if other forces lose their punch.
Be smart: Let's turn it over for a moment to climate expert Varun Sivaram of the Council on Foreign Relations...
We'll be covering this for a while, but for the moment here's a few other things to watch and consider...
The end of the beginning: Yesterday's proposal marks the start of a long, contentious regulatory fight, which will be followed by a long, contentious legal fight.
Pruitt's strategy: EPA boss Scott Pruitt, in proposing to repeal a rule he said overstepped the bounds of the Clean Air Act, held out the prospect of replacing it with something much more modest — at some point.
Yes, but: As the The New York Times points out, nobody is expecting that anytime soon, if ever. The aggressive strategy — moving to kill the rule, while slow-walking a replacement — could make some in industry nervous by creating a regulatory vacuum.
The global picture: One question mark is whether the move has any effect on the already vague U.S. standing in international climate circles. To a large degree it's already baked into the cake, because the White House has for months signaled its plans.
I asked Andrew Light, who was a senior State Department aide under former President Obama, about how the action could affect the next round of UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, next month.
Crystal ball: Via Reuters, the president of consultancy Facts Global Energy said: "Oil prices will remain relatively low in the next year or two as supplies remain ample despite ongoing cuts by OPEC, although potential new sanctions by the United States against Iran pose upside risk to the market."
Nope: French multinational banking giant BNP Paribas announced Wednesday that it will "will no longer do business with companies whose principal business activity is the exploration, production, distribution, marketing or trading of oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands."
Back to the future: "BP announced Tuesday that it will be reintroducing its Amoco brand that was last seen more than a decade ago in the United States," ABC reports.
More on the "supply gap" theory: Yesterday we had a blurb about the interview Jonathan Chanis of Securing America's Future Energy did with Platts on the notion that the oil industry hasn't invested enough in big new projects to prevent a supply crunch in a few years.
Now Chanis has published a new piece that plunges into the topic. One interesting line:
A few tidbits on the Energy Department proposal that would boost revenues for coal and nuclear plants due to their "resilience and reliability" attributes...
Pump the brakes: The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), which is the main trade group for state power regulators, is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to slow down the process.
To be sure: Energy secretary Rick Perry is using his authority to demand a quick initial process at FERC, so it's not clear whether or how much NARUC and other parties can slow things down in the near term. However, FERC is an independent agency and ultimately not bound to produce or vote on any specific result.
Ready to rumble: While Energy secretary Rick Perry's proposal has faced pushback from critics who see an attempt to prop up politically favored energy sources, Perry went on the offensive yesterday.
Mark your calendars: The DOE proposal is certain to be the hottest topic when Perry faces questions on the Hill Thursday and FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee holds a media roundtable Friday morning.
Go deeper: This S&P Global Market Intelligence piece notes that proposal would somewhat narrowly benefit coal-fired power plants in the region of the PJM Interconnection, which oversees wholesale power markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and several other nearby states.
Dive in: We covered some of this recently, but yesterday the International Monetary Fund fully released its latest World Economic Outlook that has a whole chapter devoted to climate change. It's got all kinds of useful data and charts.
Electric vehicles: A couple of new Morgan Stanley research notes delve into the need to build out charging infrastructure to enable widespread commercial deployment of EVs.
Tesla: CNBC reports that "patience is starting to run thin among some investors" following the badly missed production target for the Model 3.
Coal battle: Later this morning billionaire Michael Bloomberg is slated to announce "new investment in programs dedicated to retiring coal plants," a representative said, noting the move in response to the EPA move to scuttle the Clean Power Plan.
This is cool: Carbon Brief, a U.K.-based website, has published a detailed, interactive, down-to-the-facility level look at how the U.S. electricity mix is changing.