Welcome back! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,098 words, ~ 4 minutes.
Situational awareness: "More than 156,000 homes and businesses in the U.S. Southeast were without power on Friday as Hurricane Dorian lashed the Carolina coast, according to local electric companies," Reuters reports.
And tomorrow will mark the birthday of The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, so they'll play us into the weekend...
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The high-stakes battle between the White House and California over carbon emissions and mileage rules could be on the cusp of its next phase.
Driving the news: The Trump administration could soon move to revoke California's authority to set vehicle pollution rules that are tougher than federal standards, per multiple reports Thursday.
Why it matters: It's a key part of the wider White House effort to freeze Obama-era standards, rather than allowing them to get significantly tougher through the mid-2020s.
The intrigue: The administration has previously proposed yanking California's waiver as part of the complicated — and unfinished — rulemaking to roll back Obama-era mandates.
What we don't know: Why exactly the administration is reportedly separating the waiver revocation from the rule to freeze the Obama-era standards. Possibilities...
The big picture: Automakers have chafed at Obama's rules, arguing they're too strict.
But, but, but: The White House tells Axios' Alayna Treene that it's "moving forward to finalize" rules that set a "realistic and transparent fuel economy standard," and that "suggestion otherwise is false."
New data from the consultancy BloombergNEF shows the growth of low-carbon energy investments by oil-and-gas majors — and underscores how the European-headquartered players are the most active.
Where it stands: Check out the chart above, which shows that 2019 is on pace to be the most active year yet.
Why it matters: The world's largest companies are diversifying into renewable power, home energy services, EV charging and more.
By the numbers: "Oil companies have done about 70 deals in sectors including solar, wind and biofuels so far this year, already close to surpassing the total for the whole of 2018," Bloomberg reports in a piece on the new analysis.
But, but, but: A new report from the group Carbon Tracker says oil majors have recently moved ahead with tens of billons of dollars' worth of large-scale fossil fuel projects that are inconsistent with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
A few more notes on the 7-hour CNN climate town hall on Wednesday night...
Elizabeth Warren, who has turned her many policy plans into a brand, kicked up some dust in the wonk-sphere with her statements opposing nuclear power.
Pete Buttigieg's framing of carbon pricing is worth watching, per an interesting wrap-up from the independent research firm ClearView Energy Partners.
CNN may have received industry acclaim for the event, but it was otherwise a ratings flop, per Axios' Sara Fischer.
Oil-and-gas: Reuters explores headwinds facing U.S. companies. "Oil producers and their suppliers are cutting budgets, staffs and production goals amid a growing consensus of forecasts that oil and gas prices will stay low for several years," they report.
Investing: Per the Financial Times, "Redburn, the equity research house, has removed all 'buy' ratings from the biggest integrated oil companies, arguing that the industry faces an 'existential risk' as long-term forecasts for oil demand are up to 30 percent too high."
Renewables: Via Inside Climate News, "Renewable energy capacity quadrupled worldwide over the past 10 years, with an estimated $2.6 trillion invested in its growth, a new report from the United Nations Environment Programme shows."
LNG: "Russia's Novatek took a final investment decision on its Arctic LNG 2 project, and signed new LNG cooperation deals with Asian partners during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok," S&P Global Platts reports.