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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

One of America's biggest oil producers, Occidental Petroleum, has a new term to describe how it hopes to evolve in response to climate change.

What they're saying: “Ultimately, I don’t know how many years from now, Occidental becomes a carbon management company and our oil and gas would be a support business unit for the management of that carbon," Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub told IHS Markit's Daniel Yergin in an interview.

Why it matters: It's arguably the most concrete example of how one U.S. oil company plans to — eventually — transform as the world moves to cleaner energy.

The intrigue: Occidental is betting on CO2 capture tech, which it uses now to extract oil from the ground, to stay in the oil business by offsetting those emissions.

  • European oil companies are pursuing a different path by investing in technologies outside the core oil and gas space, like renewables and electricity.

Driving the news: Occidental last month set a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its operations to net-zero by 2040. 

  • In a report this week, the Texas-based producer said it has a 2050 goal of zeroing out virtually all emissions associated with its fuels, including end-use products.

Yes, but: The vague “I don’t know how many years from now,” indicates Occidental’s shift will be very (very) slow. And don't forget that last year it paid tens of billions to buy rival producer Anadarko.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Yellen says Biden is "fully supportive" of carbon pricing

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Janet Yellen, President Biden's nominee to run the Treasury Department, has made clear to senators that her boss supports carbon pricing, but how that backing translates to policy is unknown.

Driving the news: "I am fully supportive of effective carbon pricing and I know that the President is as well," Yellen said in written answers to Senate Finance Committee members' questions published Thursday.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New Energy Department roles look to animate Biden's campaign themes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The burst of Biden administration staffing picks announced yesterday revealed that the Energy Department (DOE) has newly created roles that reflect what President Biden called campaign priorities.

Driving the news: One new position is "director of energy jobs," which is being filled by Jennifer Jean Kropke. She was previously the first director of workforce and environmental engagement with Local 11 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
24 mins ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.

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