Happy Wednesday! Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.
At this moment in 1973, Carly Simon was atop the Billboard album charts with "No Secrets," so she'll bring us into today's edition...
The last day or so has brought more hints of what the crowded field thinks about the topic and the policy response.
What's new: Sen. Kamala Harris has offered full-throated support for the Green New Deal, using phrasing that's less equivocal than prior statements from her office.
Meanwhile, potential candidate Michael Bloomberg said in New Hampshire yesterday that regardless of whether he runs, "I've already begun working on putting together the details of what I believe is a Green New Deal."
NBC News reports that Bloomberg, who has long been active on climate and funded the Sierra Club's anti-coal work, laid out some basic principles in his speech...
Quick take: Both of their remarks were fairly standard messaging. On CNN, Harris talked up the growth in renewable power jobs and hitting "policymakers who are in the pockets of Big Oil and Big Coal."
But her support is nonetheless relevant for several reasons...
The intrigue: What's unclear is which candidates will embrace some of the biggest concepts in the AOC proposal, such as a federal job guarantee for people working in the low-carbon transition.
Illustration shows the logo of Tesla at the #WeAreMobility fair at the 97th edition of the Brussels Motor Show, at Brussels Expo, on Friday 18 January 2019, in Brussels. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM (Photo credit should read DIRK WAEM/AFP/Getty Images)
The Silicon Valley electric automaker will report its Q4 earnings after markets close today.
Nobody expects a repeat of the company's Q3 performance amid several challenges this past quarter. CEO Elon Musk, in a Jan. 18 memo announcing layoffs, said that with "great difficulty, effort and some luck," there would be a "tiny profit."
What we're watching: Things to watch when Musk chats with analysts are hints of whether Tesla will need to raise more capital, more clarity on plans for lower-priced Model 3 offerings, and where upcoming products like the electric semi-truck stand.
Separately, the cars are electric but obviously air travel on a private jet isn't, which brings me to this nice Washington Post story making the rounds yesterday on what Musk is burning...
An interesting piece in Harvard Business Review shows that when people know their neighbors are cutting energy consumption, they tend to reduce their own.
But there's a catch: The amount of the reductions is linked to why people think their neighbors are using less.
Why it matters: The analysis, based on a longer study in Nature Human Behavior, looks at one of the drivers of increasing residential energy conservation to help cut carbon emissions.
What they did: Researchers used data from utility services provider Opower (since bought by Oracle), which gives customers a Home Energy Report that provides info on their energy use and that of their neighbors too.
What they found: People tend to cut their own consumption by a range of 0.81%–2.55% when they see the hyper-local info.
The intrigue: If people think their neighbors' cuts are just incidental (say, the result of being away or kids moving to college), their own cuts are smaller.
The bottom line: Social norms matter. The Harvard Business Review piece concludes...
The big picture: Bloomberg has an in-depth look at something that didn't happen (at least not yet) — a crude supply crunch that some had feared would result when industry upstream investment cratered several years ago. Grant Smith writes...
And a couple more oil notes...
State of the market: Via Reuters, "Oil prices rose on Wednesday as concerns about supply disruptions following U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry outweighed downward pressure from a darkening outlook for the global economy."
Venture capital: RigUp, a Texas-based, on-demand staffing platform for the oil and gas industry, raised $60 million at a $300 million post-money valuation, Axios' Dan Primack learned. This was led by Founders Fund, along with fellow return backers Bedrock Capital and Quantum Energy Partners.
Axios Expert Voices contributor Evangelos Simoudis writes ... As the popularity of single-passenger ride-hailing soars, cities struggling with worse congestion and longer travel times are starting to experiment with autonomous shuttles, especially for short trips.
Why it matters: Autonomous vehicle ride-sharing could help to efficiently bridge gaps between other forms of transportation services, from public transit to bikes and scooters. This could reduce congestion and enable more travelers to complete their trips more quickly, though cities and companies may need to offer incentives to spur adoption.
What's needed: Intelligent digital platforms — whether developed by cities or by transportation companies — could integrate different modes of transportation into a personal travel plan that's optimized for consumer preferences like shortest travel time or lowest price.
The bottom line: As ride-sharing displaces privately owned vehicles, different forms of AVs could play larger roles on city streets. While not a panacea, their use in on-demand services could make urban transportation more efficient.
Go deeper: Read the full post.
Simoudis is an author and the founder and managing director of Synapse Partners, which advises and invests in companies working on next-generation mobility.
Several senators in or eyeing the race signed a letter urging the Federal Reserve, FDIC and Comptroller of the Currency to assess risks to the nation's banking system.
Why it matters: I know, open letters are dime a dozen, but this one underscores the view that climate should be woven into the fabric of many types of agencies, not just EPA and DOE.
Details: The letter from 20 Democratic senators led by Brian Schatz includes several announced or potential hopefuls: Warren, Harris, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Sherrod Brown.
Readers of this newsletter are familiar with the debate over a renewables-only approach to decarbonizing power (and, by extension, transportation too).
What's new: In this (very) after-the-fact look at the UN climate conference (COP24) last month, a pair of International Energy Agency analysts see the plates shifting. Here's one of Caroline Lee and Andrew Prag's takeaways...
Go deeper: Renewables vs. zero-carbon