Sep 28, 2018

The oil industry takes on climate change despite Trump's rollback

A fin whale surfaces near offshore oil rigs. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

A tangible shift over the last two years is sharpening among the world’s biggest oil companies, including in America, to more readily acknowledge and address climate change.

The bottom line: The trend, fueled by investor and lawsuit pressure, is underway regardless of, and partly in response to, President Trump’s retreat on the matter.

Driving the news:

  • Via E&E News: Chevron now says it backs a carbon tax, under certain terms. “It would have to be a ‘well-designed policy,'" spokesman Sean Comey said by email to the publication. That appears to be a shift from last year, when a Chevron spokeswoman told the same publication “that the company ‘does not support general calls for implementing a price on carbon.’”
  • Via Alaska Public Radio: “‘There’s been a real sea change in the last 18 months or so in how the oil industry approaches climate change as a financial issue,’ said Andrew Logan of Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit that works with investors and companies to make the business case for environmentally friendly practices.”
  • Via Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs’ co-head of global natural resources, Gonzalo Garcia, said in a presentation at a conference in Norway Wednesday that “he’s probably spent more time talking with oil company executives about the energy shift and renewables in the last two years than the previous 23 put together.” Garcia says he predicts U.S. companies like Exxon and Chevron will invest in renewables like their counterparts in Europe.

Go deeper: Exxon, Chevron join global industry group on climate

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Scoop: Census Bureau is paying Chinese state media to reach Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The 2020 Census Paid Media Campaign, which sends U.S. taxpayer dollars to community media outlets to run ads about the upcoming census, is including a Chinese state-run broadcaster as one of its media vendors.

Why it matters: After China's yearslong campaign to co-opt independent Chinese-language media in the U.S., Washington is now paying Beijing-linked media outlets in order to reach Chinese Americans.

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Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

GOP congressman accuses California pension official of working for China

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The latest season of Red Scare has come to Sacramento.

Driving the news: Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) has repeatedly accused Ben Meng, chief investment officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), of tacitly working on behalf of the Chinese government. Banks also says that, were it up to him, Meng would be fired — and has questioned the patriotism of California Gov. Gavin Newsom for not at least investigating Meng.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - World