Good morning, and welcome to a guest edition of Generate while Ben Geman is out of the office.
Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,231 words, < 5 min read.
Let's get to it.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is calling for a plan aimed at counterbalancing the Green New Deal, according to an exclusive interview with me yesterday.
Driving the news: Moniz, who was the energy secretary from 2013 to 2017 under President Obama, is delivering a speech today at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in D.C. touting energy innovation.
“If one is not pragmatic and pushes programs that are tough but at least achievable and if we can’t pull together and recognize the needs of a broad coalition, we won’t get there.”— Ernest Moniz, to Axios
Why it matters: Moniz, who now runs the think tank Energy Futures Initiative, is respected by many environmentalists and business leaders alike, so what he says could influence people across the political spectrum.
The other side: Backers of the Green New Deal, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and numerous Democratic presidential candidates, blame big business for blocking action and are pushing broad progressive policies that are unlikely to get support from fossil fuel companies or trade groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Between the lines: Moniz said speaking at the Chamber appealed to him because the powerful lobby group, long known for fighting climate-change policies, has “put out some strong statements recently about needing to move beyond the inaction phase.”
One level deeper: Today’s speech is Moniz’s first on this topic since he laid out the broad parameters in a CNBC opinion piece this spring. Some of what he's likely to promote includes...
What’s next: Moniz will be speaking on this same topic in late September tied to a major UN climate summit in New York.
Climate change got a dose of divisive and wonky attention during the first night of the second Democratic primary debate Tuesday night.
Driving the news: On display was the party's widening rift between moderates and progressives over how to go about solving a problem all Democratic candidates agree is a big one.
What they’re saying:
Reality check: Promising an economic revival via a big climate policy is a harder political sell since the economy is doing pretty well. That’s a big contrast to the 2008 presidential election where green jobs were paramount in both the Democratic and Republican candidate platforms as the economy was tanking.
What’s next: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee tweeted that he’ll make sure climate change is mentioned more in the debates tonight.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
CEOs of the world’s biggest oil companies will face critical questions from environmentalists at an invite-only forum Sept. 23 in New York City, on the sidelines of a major UN climate summit.
Why it matters: The burning of fossil fuels that oil and gas companies produce is a big reason Earth’s temperature is rising, yet their products are also the foundation of the global economy.
Driving the news: Chevron CEO Michael Wirth is planning to attend for the first time, a spokesperson said. The CEOs of BP and Shell are also set to be there.
Flashback: This year’s meeting is the second such one in the U.S. since the group launched five years ago. At last year’s NY event, 11 CEOs showed up, with just one from the newly joined U.S. members: Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental.
On the record: An Occidental spokesperson declined to comment on whether Hollub will be there again. ExxonMobil, which joined the group last year too, also declined to comment on whether CEO Darren Woods will partake.
Methane: The American Petroleum Institute yesterday released its first report after launching in 2017 a voluntary program for oil and gas producers to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
EPA: In a Tuesday announcement, the agency cleared the way for Pebble Mine in Alaska to receive a federal permit needed by the controversial copper and gold mine after years of delay due to Obama-era actions, AP reports.
Russia: Expect a close vote in today’s Senate Foreign Relations hearing on legislation that would impose sanctions connected to Russian natural gas export pipelines, the nonpartisan research firm ClearView Energy Partners said in an analysis Tuesday.
BP: The British oil giant is planning to update investors on its “current low carbon activities and future ambitions” at an event in November, CEO Bob Dudley told analysts on an earnings call yesterday. A spokesperson declined to offer more details.
State AGs: Attorneys general in states like California and New York are somewhat succeeding in fighting Trump's energy and environmental agenda, per a new report by my Axios colleagues.
“We are seeing increasing evidence that the so-called ‘legacy’ auto industry isn’t exactly digging in its heels to defend internal combustion powertrains.”
Who said it: Morgan Stanley analysts, in a research note circulated to clients and the media Tuesday.
Where it stands: The analysts point to 3 recent developments to reach that conclusion...