Happy Friday! We'll open things up with a scoop from my Axios colleague Amy Harder, and end with some recommendations for good weekend listening.
Here we go...
Four dozen companies, trade organizations and interest groups are announcing Friday a broad coalition pitching technology that captures carbon emissions from an array of industrial facilities.
Why it matters: The technology at hand is considered essential to cutting global greenhouse gas emissions to the level scientists say is needed, and the coalition being announced Friday represents an unusually broad support network for any policy, let alone one as divisive as climate change.
The details: The coalition is a rebranded and broadened version of an earlier group, called the National Enhanced Oil Recovery Initiative, which had a narrower focus. That coalition focused primarily on advocating for using captured carbon to extract oil from older wells in a process called enhanced oil recovery.
Here’s what’s new:
Go deeper: Read Amy's full story here.
Surge: U.S. crude oil exports jumped back above two million barrels per day in the week ending Feb. 16, which is just the second time this level has been reached since heavy restrictions ended in late 2015.
What's going on now: There are 2 main trends behind the U.S. becoming an increasingly prominent player in global crude markets — the U.S. oil production boom and the export policy change.
Quick take: "Crude demand from refineries is down for seasonal maintenance, while U.S. crude production is at all-time highs; the surplus is driving strong exports," Citibank analysts said in a note yesterday.
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Oil market tech: Via the Financial Times, "S&P Global Platts has deployed a blockchain network for reporting oil storage data in the UAE, in one of the first real-world commercial applications of the technology to go live in the energy industry."
Biofuels policy action: As Reuters first reported, "President Donald Trump has called a meeting early next week with key senators and Cabinet officials to discuss potential changes to biofuels policy, which is coming under increasing pressure after a Pennsylvania refiner blamed the regulation for its bankruptcy."
Interior questions: Via Politico, "A government watchdog group asked the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to investigate Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's appearance at Virgin Islands Fundraiser, and it plans to request that Interior's Inspector General probe what it contends is his 'pattern of violations' of ethics regulations."
Don't get too comfortable: Veteran analyst Amy Myers Jaffe warns that while the U.S. energy posture is quite strong now and the country is becoming a major player in LNG exports in particular, the Trump administration's push for energy "dominance" might not have a lasting foundation.
Her piece in the Houston Chronicle says China has ambitious regional and global ambitions as it pours resources into renewable and battery tech and industries.
Why the stakes are high: Those moves raise the question of how the U.S. needs to position itself in the longer term, and highlights the risks of disengagement from multinational forums on trade and climate, especially as China seeks to "fashion a global energy architecture that will favor its interests."
State of the market, part 1: A new Wall Street Journal feature explores automakers' competition to produce lower cost EVs that can compete in emerging economies.
State of the market, part 2: "Spurred on by the success of American electric-car company Tesla, luxury European carmakers are bringing to market a wave of new battery-powered vehicles beginning this year," The Detroit News reports in a piece focused on Volvo's Polestar brand.
Lobbying: A new filing shows that EV maker BYD North America has tapped lobbying powerhouse K&L Gates for representation on "issues related to extension of H-4 non-immigrant visa."
Charging: Bloomberg takes stock of Tesla's latest move, noting the company is "offering free charging stations to 'qualified' employers and commercial property owners."
Two recently released podcasts feature perspectives from the right...
Trump's endgame: Platts Capitol Crude chats with George David Banks, the White House energy aide who left this month.
Banks muses on where the administration — which is abandoning the Paris deal and killing many Obama-era rules — will ultimately end up.
Thought bubble: That would indeed require an evolution from today's posture. White House budget plans thus far would deeply slash R&D and even end DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy.
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A modest proposal: Jim Connaughton, who led the White House Council on Environmental Quality under George W. Bush, chats here with the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.
Reality check: Paris took years of intricate talks to construct. Crafting a replacement would be a super-duper-heavy lift.
The latest episode of The Energy Transition Show is a deep-dive with analyst Mackay Miller about the technology and planning needed for "deep decarbonization" of whole economies.
The focus of the chat with Miller, formerly a senior National Renewable Energy Laboratory analyst and now with the company National Grid, is moving beyond greening electricity generation to ensure that decarbonized energy reaches heating-and-cooling and transportation.
Why it matters: Extremely steep carbon cuts in the decades ahead are needed to avoid the most dangerous warming levels, climate scientists say.
“You just don’t hit any of these targets without a sort of unprecedented sea-change in the types of decisions that folks make around the cars they buy, and what they do with their homes regarding insulation, energy efficiency and heating systems.”
One big takeaway is the breadth of technology options needed to bring large numbers of EVs onto the grid, and integrate decarbonized energy into buildings systems — especially given seasonal and regional differences in need.
Here's just one example:
“There’s this decidedly unsexy type of storage that doesn’t get any headlines, but is starting to crop up, where you are just, actually, literally storing thermal energy in the dirt and capping it and insulating it,” Miller says.