Good Monday morning, and welcome back to Generate. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We had beautiful, humidity-free weather in Washington, D.C., so I made the most of it with a long run on Sunday. OK, let's get to the news.
My latest column looks at the problems with President Trump's push on natural gas exports. Check it out below, and then I'll hand things back to Ben to get you up to speed on everything else you need to know.
President Trump and his top advisers are talking a big game about how American natural gas can help Europe lessen its dependence on Russian gas. But the administration is running into some obstacles, like cheap fuel prices and a pair of Russian-backed pipeline projects.
Why it matters: Exporting America's bounty of natural gas to central and eastern European nations has emerged over the last few weeks as a key part of Trump's energy and foreign policies. But the administration's influence in this area is limited, and the president faces risk of backlash if he goes too far in pushing American natural gas over other nations' resources.
Read the rest of my
Harder Line column here
Sanctions: Axios' Jonathan Swan has an inside look at the White House maneuvers to soften Russian sanctions legislation that's moving through Congress, a measure that targets Russia's energy sector.
Climate: Here's a couple follow-up thoughts to the G20 summit that laid bare U.S. isolation on climate, with the other nations jointly calling the Paris agreement "irreversible" in the closing communique on Saturday.
Recent days brought fresh evidence of those dueling trends. "If you look at what we've achieved environmentally in the United States, our numbers are pretty good," White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said on Air Force One Saturday in defending the U.S. decision to abandon the Paris agreement.
Yes, but: Cohn touted U.S. progress just a week after E&E News broke the story that EPA will lead a "formal initiative to challenge mainstream climate science" using "red team, blue team" exercises.
OPEC: Deepening the production-cutting deal between the cartel and several non-OPEC producers won't be on the table at a meeting to be held later this month, top officials said in Turkey on Sunday, even though the arrangement hasn't stabilized prices or cut inventories as much as hoped.
Libya and Nigeria limits eyed: Almarzooq confirmed that OPEC members Libya and Nigeria, which aren't covered by the deal and have been boosting output, may be asked to cap their production, Bloomberg reports.
Slash: Via Reuters' Christopher Johnson, a top analyst at BNP Paribas just significantly cut their crude oil price forecast, lowering the Brent crude projection for 2017 by $9 to $51 and cutting the 2018 projection by $15 to $48 per barrel.
Fresh warning on long-term supply: Saudi Aramco's CEO reiterated warnings Monday that insufficient industry investment in new projects could create a supply shortfall years down the line.
The last few days have been pretty busy on the electric vehicles front...
Crystal ball: Analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance released their latest long-term electric vehicles forecast. It predicts EVs will be 54% of new light-duty vehicles sales in 2040, a huge jump from the 35% in last year's projection.
Tesla: The Model 3 has begun rolling off assembly lines over the last couple of days, with actual customer deliveries slated to begin later this month. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted the photo above over the weekend.
Volvo: Starting in 2019, it will no longer produce any fully internal combustion models — everything will have some form of electric power, either via hybrid form or as a full EV.
France: The country plans to end sales of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040.
Lobbying: The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has begun posting records of meetings with outside parties on EPA's Clean Power Plan.
Semantics: Some energy experts don't think the Trump administration's mantra of achieving energy "dominance" is the greatest messaging idea.
The latest breakdown of the phrasing around the exports push comes via Foreign Affairs, where Jason Bordoff, a former Obama aide, calls it a "terrible marketing slogan."
Solar: Over the weekend the New York Times ran a deep dive into the headwinds facing the rooftop solar market, which has seen its growth stall.
Nominations: On Monday evening, the Senate is slated to confirm Neomi Rao to head OIRA.
More nominations: On Wednesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on Trump's nominees for two slots on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and his pick for EPA's top enforcement official.
Appropriations: On Wednesday, the full House Appropriations Committee will mark up Energy Department spending legislation, while a subcommittee will consider the Interior Department's spending bill. Details here.
House floor: The big annual defense policy bill arrives on the floor later this week and could feature some climate-related amendment fights. The House Rules Committee is slated to meet Wednesday to decide which proposed amendments will actually be debated on the floor.
On our radar: The Senate schedule is in flux amid all the health care drama, but the big energy bill co-authored by Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski and ranking Democrat Maria Cantwell could be coming to the floor soon. A committee summary is here.