Mar 7, 2017

Saudi energy minister: don’t keep it in the ground

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih says the idea that oil companies face "stranded assets" as the world moves toward green energy is dangerous. He praised the growth of renewables and electric cars, but noted growing global oil demand driven by Asia and warned of underinvestment in global supply.

"Misguided projections of peak demand and stranded petroleum resources may discourage the trillions of dollars of investments needed to underpin essential oil and gas supplies during the long transformation of our global energy [mix]." — Al-Falih at CERA Week conference in Houston

Underinvestment, he said, would "amount to nothing less than compromising the world's energy security by squandering staggering quantities of our planet's natural energy endowment." Damaging price spikes would follow.

Why it matters: The powerful oil kingdom is pushing back against climate change activists who have rallied around the term "keep it in the ground"—the "it" being fossil fuels—to describe the need to avoid runaway climate change.

Go deeper

South Korea and Italy step up measures as coronavirus cases spike

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.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy in particular scramble to deal with spikes in their countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korean President Moon Jae-said country would increase its infectious disease alert to red, the highest level possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country soared to 556 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures Sunday after infections rose to 79.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).