Mar 7, 2017

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

Ben Geman, author of Generate

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.

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DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

Barr and Trump. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

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Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.