Good morning, I recently returned from a whirlwind week covering the climate talks in Bonn, Germany.
My latest column — about the left's internal struggle over nuclear power — is reported mostly from interviews on the sidelines there. I'll offer you a glimpse of that, and then Ben Geman will get you on top of the rest of the news.
America's liberal leaders are torn between fighting climate change and resisting nuclear power.
Why it matters now: The nuclear power industry, which provides the U.S. nearly two-thirds of its carbon-free electricity, is reaching an inflection point. Several power plants are shutting down under economic duress, which is putting pressure on Congress and state legislatures to keep them open, while a new generation of advanced nuclear technologies need government backing to get off the ground.
Coming today: The Nebraska Public Service Commission is slated to make a decision on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.
Via the Associated Press, "The simplest choice is a yes-or-no vote on TransCanada's 'preferred route' through a dozen Nebraska counties. But the commission could include major caveats that would add years to the project's timetable."
ConocoPhillips: CEO Ryan Lance tells the Financial Times that the big U.S.-based company won't invest in new projects that require oil prices of $50 per barrel or higher to make a profit, and that the company is targeting most of its growth capital on U.S. shale projects.
Markets: Reuters reports that crude markets are "tepid" thus far today because traders are "reluctant to take on big new positions ahead" ahead of the Nov. 30 OPEC meeting where ministers will weigh the future of the OPEC/non-OPEC production limiting deal.
Transparency: A piece published by the center-left think tank New America looks critically at the Trump administration's recent decision abandon full implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative standards.
Battle stations: A pair of residential solar companies opposed to potential tariffs on panel imports — Sunrun and Vivint — have brought on Ballard Partners to lobby on trade issues (newly available filings here and here).
Deadline: Midnight marks the deadline for initial comments to the United States Trade Representative — a branch of the White House — about potential tariffs on imported solar panel equipment.
Why it matters: The USTR process is the latest phase in the high-stakes solar trade battle.
Person to watch: I recommend reading this piece by my Axios colleague Jonathan Swan. He reports that "hardline trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer is wielding extraordinary — and growing — influence inside the White House."
Going public: A group urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reject a DOE proposal that would mandate higher revenues for coal and nuclear power plants is now making its members public.
Why it matters: The coalition's emergence underscores the breadth of the opposition from several industry sectors to Energy secretary Rick Perry's push to keep coal and nuclear plants at risk of retirement online by shaking up wholesale power market rules.
In their words: "The DOE grid proposal would raise costs for millions of American families and make it harder for American businesses to compete," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for AEC.
What's next: Interim FERC chairman Neil Chatterjee is pushing for FERC action in mid-December that would extend a "lifeline" to at-risk plants while the independent agency weighs Perry's request.
Tesla's truck: Here's a few more items about the company's newly unveiled electric semi-truck prototype...
Big picture: Reuters has published a very useful, company-by-company summary of major automakers' EV plans.
Counterpunch: A very interesting Wall Street Journal feature looks at joint efforts by major oil companies and automakers to develop the next generation of advanced engine lubricants and other technologies that make internal combustion vehicles more efficient.
Check it out: This corner of NASA's website has lots of stunning satellite and aerial images.
The shot above is part of western Australia captured by the Landsat-8 satellite a few years ago.
From their description: "The image is enhanced and involved masking, separately enhancing and then reassembling water and land portions of the image. The water patterns are the result of an RGB display of Landsat-8's red, blue, and ultra-blue bands. Land is shown using short-wavelength-infrared, near-infrared and green."
Thanks for reading!
A reminder: Ben will be moderating a timely discussion that Securing America's Future Energy is hosting on Tuesday, Nov. 28, called "Oil's Coming Decade of Disorder."
The Washington, D.C., event will explore how underinvestment in new supply, geopolitical risk and other forces affect market stability. You can register here.