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At this moment 50 years ago, the late Marvin Gaye was atop the Billboard charts with today's immortal intro tune...
New data shows that 2018 was the 4th-warmest in the modern temperature record. And climate change is also heating up (sorry!) on the campaign trail.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who recently joined the field of 2020 hopefuls, laid out her broad positions on energy and climate. Via Twitter and an open letter to Sen. John Barrasso, chairman of the environment committee, she indicated she supports...
The big picture: This piece of early — and still rather vague — positioning in the 2020 race is the latest example of candidates staking out turf on a topic that's rarely at the forefront of national politics.
Threat level: Robert Rohde, the team's lead scientist, underscored how current warming trends will blow past the targets of the Paris climate agreement.
But, but, but: Something else happened yesterday that signals why the recent flurry of political attention may not last as election day draws closer. The Pew Research Center released their annual survey of public priorities for Congress and the White House.
Quick take: Glance at those numbers and you can see why climate advocates have political as well as policy reasons for tethering emissions cuts to wider economic ideas. And, the partisan canyon makes me wonder whether we'll see two phases:
The Energy Information Administration unveiled their annual long-term forecasts yesterday and here's a hot take: The U.S. is going to keep pumping lots of oil and shale will remain the dominant force.
The big picture: Just how much will depend on price, resource and technology variables, some of them reflected in the chart above (where "tight" oil is a proxy for shale).
Why it matters: The crude surge is a reason behind one of the key findings — that the U.S. becoming a net energy exporter will be the new normal.
What's next: I plan to explore one of the other findings — EIA's pessimistic projection of electric vehicle adoption — some time next week.
Grapevines burned in the 2017 Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa, California. Photo: George Rose via Getty Images
The 2017 Tubbs Fire that burned over 36,000 acres and killed more than 20 people in California's Sonoma County was caused by a "private electrical system," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Thursday.
That's a relief for utility PG&E, whose equipment was suspected as having sparked the blaze, Axios' Courtenay Brown reports.
The big picture: A source close to the company tells Axios that the findings of the investigation do not change its plans to file for bankruptcy next week.
What they're saying: In a statement to Axios, a spokesperson says the company still faces "significant potential liabilities and a deteriorating financial situation, which was further impaired by the recent credit agency downgrades to below investment grade."
LNG: Via Reuters this morning, "Europe is now the top buyer of U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a near fivefold spike in U.S. LNG sales to the continent this winter, overtaking South Korea and Mexico, a Reuters analysis showed."
Electric vehicles: Per CNBC, "With its CEO setting a goal of going 100 percent electric, General Motors is taking a close look at how, if not when, to offer an all-electric SUV, according to the head of the automaker's GMC truck brand."
Beer: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at how wind energy will show up on Super Bowl Sunday via a Budweiser ad...
Skiers in Park City, Utah. Photo: EyesWideOpen via Getty Images
Axios Expert Voices contributor Maggie Teliska writes ... Last ski season, Vermont's Bromley ski resort, winner of the 2017 Energy Leadership award, installed low-energy snowmaking guns to optimize snow production while reducing energy waste.
The big picture: The ski industry is increasingly embracing new innovations in energy-efficient technology — combined with existing technologies such as wind and solar energy and LED lighting — to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its bottom line.
Where it stands: Berkshire East ski resort, a family-owned ski area in western Massachusetts, became the only ski area in the world to generate 100% of its electricity on-site in 2011.
What's next: Several other ski resorts are planning to become more sustainable, and even to generate a large percentage of their energy on site.
The bottom line: Roughly 75% of U.S. ski resorts have incorporated renewable programs, with many announcing commitments to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy in the next few years. More energy-efficient ski operations will help save on energy production and use while building a more eco-friendly brand.
A solar plant north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images
Axios Expert Voices contributors Juergen Braunstein and Oliver McPherson-Smith write ... Last May, Chinese solar panel manufacturer LONGi signed an agreement with Saudi trading company El Seif Group to establish large-scale solar manufacturing infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The big picture: Uneasy about its oil dependence and lack of domestic manufacturing capabilities, Saudi Arabia has long looked to partner with China to develop its burgeoning green industries.
Background: China laid out its industrial investment policy for the Greater Middle East in a 2016 white paper, highlighting the importance of exporting industrial capacity in nuclear, traditional and renewable energy.
Saudi Arabia’s goal of developing 60 gigawatts of solar power by 2030, together with its dearth of indigenous competition, makes the country an attractive manufacturing destination for Chinese firms, which have already sought to deepen their cooperation with their Saudi counterparts.
Where it stands: Saudi Arabia seems poised to take advantage. The country aims to become a global trade hub as part of its ambitious Vision 2030 plan, and has already taken action in industrial policy to establish local manufacturing centers.
Braunstein is a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. McPherson-Smith is a Master’s student at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies.