Good morning! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,285 words, < 5 minutes.
Situational awareness: "Tesla CEO Elon Musk told employees in an email sent overnight that the electric vehicle maker would attempt to restart production at its U.S. car plant in Fremont, California, on Friday afternoon." (CNBC)
🌷 And an early Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful moms out there, and an early happy birthday (on Sunday) to Bono of U2, who opens the edition with a beautiful live performance...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The oil industry's painful retrenchment amid the collapse in demand and prices is bleeding into Beltway political battles over pandemic response — and probably into the 2020 election.
Driving the news: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is bashing the brewing Trump administration plan to help distressed U.S. producers, warning against financial aid she says would sap resources better spent elsewhere.
Why it matters: Warren is among the highest profile Democratic lawmakers and a potential VP pick for White House hopeful Joe Biden.
The big picture: The Beltway tension over aid shows how the coronavirus pandemic has upended the role of oil in political battles over energy and climate.
Why you'll hear about this again: NYT's Lisa Friedman reports that the pandemic has entered political battles over energy and climate in a way that goes beyond the oil sector's upheaval.
What we're watching: How and whether Biden addresses the topic of the oil industry's change in fortunes due to the pandemic.
What we don't know: It's not clear what forms of aid the administration is planning to offer.
The consultancy IHS Markit now expects roughly 14 million barrels per day of crude oil production worldwide to be "cut or shut-in" during the second quarter.
The big picture: IHS analyst Jim Burkhard, in a statement, said a "rapid and brutal adjustment of global oil supply to a lower level of demand is underway."
Why it matters: The fresh estimate is the latest eye-popping tally of how the collapse in demand is affecting oil markets.
Go deeper: Turning oil wells back on is trickier than shutting them off (Bloomberg)
The Treasury Department is signaling that it plans to offer more time for renewable power developers to qualify for tax credits as projects are disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why it matters: The industry is facing supply chain problems and other woes, leading to concern that a suite of projects will miss looming deadlines for incentives that are important for project finance.
What we don't know: Details. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a brief letter to Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, said the department "plans to modify the relevant rules in the near future."
What they're saying: The American Council on Renewable Energy, an industry trade group, said extending the deadlines would be "immensely" helpful.
The short-term easing of environmental pressures due to the pandemic could give way to longer term harm as investment takes a hit, Axios' Dion Rabouin reports.
The big picture: The pandemic is helping reduce the use of fossil fuels, but it is decreasing investments in things like wind and solar power and financial assets like green bonds, says Jessica Ground, global head of stewardship at Schroders.
Driving the news: In April, total issuance of ESG bonds — green, sustainability, and social bonds — increased by 272% year over year and was double the total from March, reaching $48.5 billion, according to data from Morgan Stanley.
What it means: ESG bonds are specifically earmarked to raise money for positive social outcomes or climate and environmental projects.
Yes, but: 76% of the total ESG issuance in April came from multilateral development banks, with the majority supporting COVID-19 relief efforts, Moody's found in a recent analysis.
Where it stands: Total global sustainable bond issuance fell 32% in the first quarter from Q4 2019, and green bond volumes declined 49%, per Moody's.
A pair of news items about the power cooperative Great River Energy, which serves the Upper Midwest, together help show where the industry is heading.
What's new: Great River Energy intends to close down Coal Creek Station, a roughly 1,150 megawatt coal-fired plant in North Dakota, in the second half of 2022.
Why it matters: The Minnesota Star Tribune notes that the closure comes several years earlier than planned, and calls it an "extraordinary move that underscores the waning cost-competitiveness of coal in electricity production."
But, but, but: It's not just about renewables and gas helping to shove coal aside. There's a storage element too. Via TechCrunch...
"There’s been an ‘aha’ moment among carmakers."
Who said it: Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Cox Automotive, quoted in the New York Times.
The context: He's explaining the financial reasons why automakers are so focused on electric SUVs and pickup trucks for U.S. markets. The "aha" realization is...